City fire department reminds residents how to grill safely
In recognition of the summer outdoor cooking season, City of Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano along with Fire Prevention Officer, Lieutenant Greg Ireland, and the City of Batavia Fire Department would like to remind all residents of several grilling fire safety tips.
· Grill fires cause an estimated $37 million dollars in property loss each year.
· Almost half of home grill fires occur between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m.
· 57 percent of home grill fires occur during the months of May, June, July and August.
· Patios, terraces, porches and courtyards are the leading home locations for grill fires.
· 79 percent of all home grill fires involve gas grills.
· Mechanical failure/malfunctions is the leading cause of gas grill fires while grease buildup is the second leading cause.
Grills must be used outdoors. Use of grills indoors or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, garages, etc., pose both a fire hazard and risk of exposure to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
- Position the grill 15 feet away from siding, deck railing, other combustibles, and out from eaves or overhanging vegetation.
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area -- declare a 3-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
- Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by heat.
- Never leave grills unattended.
- Only use approved charcoal lighter fluid for starting the grill.
- Never use gasoline or flammable liquids to light charcoal.
- Do not add lighter fluid to coals that have already been ignited.
- Keep unused charcoal dry. Wet charcoal becomes a fire hazard as it dries out through the process of spontaneous combustion.
- Before disposing of charcoal ashes, allow them to cool thoroughly. Keep them either in the grill or in a metal container until cool, then stir the ashes before disposal to make sure they are completely out.
Liquid Propane (LP) Gas Grills
- Inspect the gas cylinder hose and connections for leaks before using the grill for the first time each year.
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose and all connections; any leaks will be quickly revealed in the form of bubbles.
- If you discover a leak either by smell or by the soap test and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank valve and the grill. If the leak stops, have the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- Be sure to open the lid of your gas grill before lighting.
- If you smell gas while cooking or see any fire outside the grill box, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. DO NOT attempt to move the grill.
As always, If a resident has any questions or concerns regarding any of these tips, they can contact the City of Batavia Fire Department Headquarters at 585-345-6375.