Neighborhood Firefighters Stress BBQ Safety
Sunday, May 26, 2013 | Posted by LAFD Media and Public Relations
The seasonal migration to decks, balconies and backyards is underway, as Americans fire up gas and charcoal grills. With an increase in outdoor recreation comes a spike in barbecue fires. To keep your family safe, the Los Angeles Fire Department and U.S. Fire Administration offer simple tips for outside cooking safety.
Use All Barbecue Grills Safely:
- Never leave a barbecue grill unattended.
- Place the grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill. Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone”.
- Use long-handled grilling tools to give yourself clearance from heat and flames.
- Keep the grill clean. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and know how to use it.
- Use only outdoors! Grills used indoors or in an enclosed space, such as a tent, poses an extreme risk for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Purchase the proper starter fluid and store out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
- Dispose of charcoal coals only after they are cool. Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals. Place the container away from anything that can burn. Never empty coals directly into a trash can.
- Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages.
- Follow the manufacturers' instructions on how to set up and maintain the grill.
- Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
- If your grill has a gas leak by smell or soapy bubble test – and there is no flame:
- Turn off the propane tank and grill.
- If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak does not stop, call the Fire Department.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
- Light a propane grill only with the cover open.
Watch What You Heat…
- Lack of proper attention is the leading cause of cooking fires.
- Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, bags, food packaging and towels away.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can dangle and catch fire.
- Do not cook if you are sleepy, drinking alcohol or taking medicine that makes you drowsy.
Bill Leys-The Deck Expert
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