Chief’s Corner: Safety with barbecue grills in the summer
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
Everyone enjoys outdoor grilling and barbecuing. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food during the summer months.
But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries.
Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.
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 at least three feet 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.
Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
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.
For 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 not flame, turn off the gas tank and grill.
If the leak stops, get the grill services by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
The use of any wood burning recreational fire pits are prohibited during fire restrictions, which are now in place in the Tahoe Basin.