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Let’s Grill! Timely Tips for Safe and Fun Grilling.

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the top two grilling months of the year. We certainly take in our fair share of grilling in Charleston. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

Nothing says SUMMER IS HERE better than an estimated 92 million American grill-owning households cranking up their backyard barbecues for festive family gatherings, community celebrations or just a quiet dinner at home. Are you one of them? Whether you are wearing the apron or just a hungry bystander, here are some timely tips.

Please be sure to pass along this helpful grilling safety guide to your friends on Facebook!

Know How to Use, Clean and Store Your Grill Properly

Here’s the bottom line: Grill fires tallied 140 injuries, 10 deaths and $96 million in property damage annually from 2007 to 2011, according to reports from the National Fire Protection Association.

Grills, hibachis and barbecues on residential properties continue to be a high fire risk, so take a second to review this list of precautions and prevent a grill or propane fire from ruining your summer fun:

  • Start smart by following all manufacturer’s instructions and warnings when assembling and/or operating your grill.
  • Only grill outside in open areas – not in a garage; under eaves or other enclosures; or near siding, deck railings or anything flammable.
  • Set up your grill away from playing fields, lawn games or any other high-traffic areas.
  • Keep the lid open when lighting a propane grill to prevent an explosion from gas buildup. Turn off and wait at least 10 minutes to relight if the burners blow out.
  • Stay close to your grill when in use, and keep children clear with a three-foot “kid-free zone.”
  • Use long-handled tools to prevent burns, and tuck in loose clothing.
  • Douse flare-ups with sprits of water on a charcoal grill, but not on a gas grill. For a gas grill, turn the gas down or off.
  • Have baking soda on hand to control a more serious grease fire, but know where a fire extinguisher is, just in case.
  • When done cooking, shut off the gas supply, then turn the burners to “off.” (By the way, do you know how long certain foods should cook? Download these tips on grilling times and food temperatures.)
  • Mechanical failure is the leading cause of grill fires. So check your grill and propane tank regularly for wear, particularly for cracked hoses, broken fittings, dents and other corrosion.
  • Remove grease or fat buildup from trays below the grill regularly. (See these easy grilling cleanup tips.)
  • Rotten egg, skunk or dead animal smells can mean propane is leaking; turn off the supply valve if you can do so safely, tell everyone to leave the area and call the fire department.
  • Transport propane cylinders securely and upright in a well-ventilated area of your vehicle, and never leave a bottle inside the car on a hot day.
  • Never store propane indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed or tent.

What do you think about these tips? Do you have others to share?

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