RFD offers summer grilling safety tips

The Russellville Fire Department encourages outdoor chefs to pay particular attention to safety in the summer months when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often. While nearly half of the people who grill do so year-round, July is the peak month for grilling fires, followed by May, June and August. Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns.

The RFD offers these tips for protecting one’s home and family from fires caused by outdoor cooking.

  • More than one-half of home fires started by grills began on a courtyard, balcony, patio or porch. Grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts. Overall, leaks or breaks were factors in one of every five reported grill fires. 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.
  • When finished using a propane barbecue, always make sure to turn off the barbecue and shut off the propane cylinder too.
  • Many charcoal grill fires begin with careless use of starter fluid. Buy 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 or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going. Allow coals to cool for 48 hours before disposing or, if unable to wait, douse coals with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers, only metal.

Every year Franklin County citizens, like all Americans, look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions and picnics. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

 

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