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Monthly Chief's Message to Residents for June 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dear Neighbors,

The weather has finally warmed so many of us are cooking outside again. While this is a welcomed change, it’s important to keep fire safety in mind when barbecuing. Here’s why:

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in 2004–2008 responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues, including 4,500 outside fires and 3,200 structure fires. The NFPA points out that July was the peak month for grill fires in this time period. What’s more, over half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch.

To keep your barbecuing safe this Summer, please keep these tips in mind from the NFPA:

Safety tips

• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal grills

• There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
• If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
• Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane grills

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas 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 move the grill.

Enjoy the Grilling Season!

Sincerely,

Andy Magerle
Chief of Department

P.S. – You can get news developments from the Halesite Fire Department on Twitter by following @HalesiteChief.




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