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Bill Elletto
Firefighter, Engine Co.

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Letter to Residents: Backyard BBQ Safety

Monday, April 15, 2013

In December 2012, Hannah Storm, a reporter for ESPN, was badly burned while preparing to cook dinner for her children. After wind blew out the flames, propane gas pooled on her grill and became and explosive fireball when Storm attempted to re-ignite the grill. Only her instinct to close her eyes upon seeing the flame saved her corneas, but her face, neck, chest and hands suffered first and second degree burns. Don't like this happen to you.

Fire in the grill, under the hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at a family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. Remember...

•Propane and charcoal BBQ girlls 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 it clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in tray below the grill surface.
•NEVER leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal Grills

•There are several ways to get the charcoal ready for use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
•If you use lighter fluid, use only fluid designated for charcoal. Never ass 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 cool completely befire disposing of the used coals 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 you realize either by smell or with the bubble test that your grill has a gas leak, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
•If you have a leak, and you cannot turn the gas off, 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.

For more tips on safely using charcoal or gas grills, please visit the Comsumer Product Safety Commission website at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/1997/CPSC-Releases-Grill-Safety-Tips/




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