STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton and the Stoneham Fire Department would like to remind residents to be cognizant of several important grilling safety tips when cooking outdoors.
According to a report issued by the National Fire Protection Association this April, approximately 10,200 home fires nationwide are started each year by grills.
“Every summer, there are thousands of fires nationwide that are started by grill fires,” Chief Grafton said. “Grill fires are easily preventable if residents properly handle, store and maintain their grilling equipment, and we’re encouraging everyone to familiarize themselves with these safety tips.”
The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services has several tips for grilling safely in the coming weeks and months:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Place grills away from the house, deck railings and out from under eaves of overhanging branches.
- Grills should only be used on first floor porches, decks, or patios if there is an outdoor stairway to the ground, or the porch is at ground level.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grilling area. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders.
Gas Grill Safety
- Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
- Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
- Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
- Check the propane tank hose for potential leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle. See if any bubbles appear around the hose. If no bubbles appear, the grill is safe to use.
- If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
- Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.
Charcoal Grill Safety
- Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never used gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
- Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes emit carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.