National statistics from fire departments in the U.S. state over 10,000 home grill fires and 100 deaths due to injuries annually. Approximately 79 percent of all grill fires are from gas grills. And July is the peak month for grill fires.
With those alarming statistics in mind, the Lynbrook Fire Department provided some helpful information to have a safe summer of outdoor grilling.
“With Memorial Day next week now may be a good time to check your propane barbecue grill before the holiday,” said Lynbrook Fire Chief Danny Ambrosio. “Before using your grill for the first time this year, you should clean and inspect it first. Check the hoses for cracking, holes, and any leaks. And remember that propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.”
To test your propane gas tank for leaks before using it for the first time, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. If there is a leak, it will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak either by the bubble test or by smell, and there is no flame, turn off both the tank and the grill. If the leak stops, have the grill serviced by a professional. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department immediately, Ambrosio said. And if you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department.
While using a grill it should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and away from under eaves and overhanging tree branches. Children and pets should be kept away from the grill area and never leave the grill unattended. Always make sure your gas grill lid is open when lighting it.
“If you pay attention to these safety tips you and your family will have a safer summer,” said Ambrosio.
— Contributed by Steve Grogan