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For Immediate Release,
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
Keep the flames under the grill
Summertime barbecues are a great way to get the family together and enjoy some quality time outside. Unfortunately, they can be dangerous to your home and loved ones if not done properly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, July is a peak month for grilling fires. Charcoal grills were involved in an annual average of 1,400 home fires from 2007-2011. Gas grills are an even higher risk, being involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires.
To reduce the risk of fire and prevent injuries, keep these tips in mind:
  • Any kind of grill, propane or charcoal, should only be used outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Grills should be placed a safe distance from buildings (about 10 ft), deck rails, overhangs and trees – in a well-ventilated area without heavy foot traffic
  • Make sure your grill is placed on a stable surface
  • Before grilling, read the owner’s manual
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing around grill, including apron strings, as they can easily catch fire
  • Before starting, clean the grill of grease build-up and fat build-up in any trays
  • Be sure to keep the grill top open when lighting it to avoid gas build-up
  • Never leave a grill unattended
  • Use long-handed grilling utensils and fire-resistant mitts to avoid burns
  • Remember that grills stay hot long after the grilling is done
  • Teach your children about grilling safety and try to keep kids and pets 3 ft from the grill at all times
Propane grills
  • Check hoses for leaks, especially before their first use each year (Putting a light mixture of soap and water along the hose can check for leaks – if you see an area start to bubble, you have a leak)
  • Only have a professional fix a grill
  • If you smell gas while cooking, it’s best to get away from the grill and call the fire department 
Charcoal grills
  • Only use a designated charcoal starter fluid  - don’t add any flammable liquids after the fire has started
  • Keep bottles of charcoal lighter fluid away from heat and out of the reach of kids
  • When done grilling, let the coals cool completely and make sure they aren’t still smoldering before putting them in a sealed metal container for several days
  • Never put coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers - house fires have occurred from discarded coals reigniting a new fire
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