Fire safety urged for grills

With the US observing National Fire Prevention Week, Teton County Fire Marshal Kathy Clay is sharing some advice in the interest of fire safety. Anyone with a barbecue grill, she says, should be sure it is not near combustible material.

“Is it away from the side of the house? Is it away from things that can burn like a deck railing? And, is it out from an overhang? Those are really important things to consider first – let’s think about placement.”

When you are grilling, Clay says do not leave the grill unattended.

“You especially need to be with it in case you’ve had some grease build-up. That grease build-up can cause big flames.”  

She says it is important to open the grill before lighting it so that there is no gas accumulation before it ignites. Then be sure it is completely off when the grilling is done because if the gas is slightly on, it is heavier than air and can accumulate under a deck or in a window well and can cause an explosive hazard. Above all, never bring a gas grill or charcoal grill inside. 

“Never put a grill on the inside of a structure, or even your garage. You need to have air… The carbon monoxide and that spread of fire is a real threat

Clay urges those grilling to be prepared to extinguish or control a grease fire in the grill should one start up – and she points out that water is not appropriate to control a grease fire. Baking soda is a better alternative.

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