Fire up the grill … but not your house

CAMINO — One of the best smells of summer is something cooking on the barbecue; one of the worst smells would be your home or yard on fire after something went awry while cooking outdoors.

“Californians love to barbecue almost anything that is edible, from meat and veggies to pizza and fruit, we simply love to cook outdoors” said Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of Cal Fire. “In fact 81 percent of U.S. households have a barbecue or smoker and 71 percent of us barbeque on July 4. With all this outdoor cooking comes unwanted fires and/or burn injuries, so to keep yourself and your family safe, please take a few minutes to review these fire safety tips.”

  • Make sure your barbeque is in good working order.  If you own a gas grill, refer to your owner’s manual for information regarding the tanks, fuel lines and venturi tubes or have it serviced by a professional
  • Place your barbeque away from the sides of a building/awnings/overhangs or anything else flammable.  Keep them out of high traffic areas too.
  • Use caution when using lighter fluid to light charcoal  and never add lighter fluid to an existing fire as it may flashback and cause the container to explode.
  • Supervise children and pets around all outdoor grills, and keep all lighters and matches away from children.
  • Never wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbeque as they can catch on fire.  Make sure everyone understands Stop-Drop-Roll in the event their clothing catches on fire.
  • Never use a barbecue in enclosed areas as carbon monoxide (CO) will be produced.  CO is deadly and undetectable as it has no odor.
  • After you have finished grilling your food, turn off the gas grill.  If you are using briquettes, make sure they are completely out, douse them with plenty of water and stir the mixture to ensure they are completely out.
  • Never hesitate to call 9-1-1 in the event you have an uncontrolled fire or someone is burned.

For more fire safety tips visit fire.ca.gov or call (530) 644-2345 to receive free fire and life safety brochures.

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Posted by on Jul 1 2013.
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