Grilling safety: What you need to know before cooking outdoors
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -It’s that time of year when many of us will spend some time outside. What better way to do that than to fire up the grill? If you haven’t already started grilling in your back yard here’s what you need to do before you start cooking.
First is to do a full inspection. You want to be sure no critters have made your grill their new home over the winter.
Next, if you use a gas grill, check the gas lines for any leaks and repair those before you start cooking.
Finally, make sure it’s clean to avoid any grease fires. Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure kids and pets keep a safe distance away while you are cooking.
“A lot of the burning injuries are children under the age of five touching the grill,” said Captian Tim Childs with the Battlefield Fire Protection District. “Make sure you keep your pets clear of your grill so that you’re not tripping over them while you’re actually cooking.”
While many of us enjoy a good burger or steak cooked over some flames, it can be dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year. Firefighters want you to keep these tips in mind when cooking outside.
First, ensure the grill is far from the side of your house and deck railing to prevent a structure fire.
Next when igniting a gas grill, make sure to keep the lid open. If you close the lid and try to ignite a flame, it could cause an explosion.
Finally, never leave the grill unattended. Keep an eye on what you are cooking and know what to do if the flames get out of control.
“Shut the grill lid,” said Childs. “Most of the time that will come down, it will snuff itself out to an extent. Turn your gas off if it’s a gas grill. If it’s a charcoal grill, use things like baking soda or a small fire extinguisher. It’s unfortunate to lose your meat but it’s better than losing your house.”
If you do have a fire that gets out of control, call 911.
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