Tahoe chief’s corner: Safe outdoor entertainment, grilling tips | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chief’s corner: Safe outdoor entertainment, grilling tips

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

Outdoor entertaining and cooking food on the grill is one of the most popular ways that family and friends spend quality time together during the summer.

Hosting outdoor activities and events also means increased risk of home fires. Fortunately, following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe.

Consider the following when you host your next outdoor gathering:

Never leave your grill/barbecue or fire pit unattended.

Make sure your grill/barbecue meet manufacture clearance recommendations (or the minimum standard of 36 inch clearance for propane or gas barbecues or 10 feet for charcoal barbecues, from combustibles), are only used outdoors and 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 and always have an adult present at all times.

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 no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If leak does not stop, call us at 911 and report smell of gas. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call us at 911. Do not move the grill.

For charcoal grills — 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.

When you are finished grilling let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. If you are a local resident stop by our administrative office at 866 Oriole Way, Incline Village, NV 89451 to see if you qualify for a free ash can.

For more information on outdoor fire safety information visit http://www.nfpa.org. You can also visit http://www.thinkfirstahoe.org to learn more about wildfire prevention and preparedness. Think First to Keep Tahoe Fire Safe this summer.

“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Interim Chief Ryan Sommers and other regional fire chiefs, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.