With spring finally upon us it is a welcome sign to smell the mouth-watering waft of your neighbor's dinner on the grill. Each year more than 500 fires occur when people use grills and about 20 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Before you kick-off your own BBQ the Fridley Fire Department would like to offer our top 10 tips for safety this grilling season.
- BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches, with an adult in attendance at all times.
- Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups. Before you put anything on the grill, get the grill hot and scrub it of any residue with a clean wire-bristled brush.
- Check all connections for leaks by turning on the cylinder valve and spraying the connections with a solution made by mixing equal amounts of liquid dish soap and water. If bubbles appear, those connections need to be tightened or replaced.
- Use long-handed tools to avoid leaning over the grill when flipping over burgers and other meats. Be mindful of sleeves and clothing when near a grill as well.
- Create separate areas on the grill for raw meat and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Invest in an instant-read thermometer: Making sure meat and poultry are cooked to the proper temperatures is vital to safe eating.
- When you are finished grilling with charcoal, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container, never in a plastic or other combustible container.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill, and know how to use it! If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time trying to learn- just call 9-1-1.
- DON'T: Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it, a fireball can explode in your face.
- DON'T: Overload your grill with food, especially fatty meats. If too much fat drips on to the flames at once, it may cause a flare-up that can light nearby items on fire.
Lastly the Fridley Fire Department would like to remind residents that the City has adopted the Minnesota State Fire Code with regards to multi-family dwellings which does not allow charcoal or gas grills to be used or stored on decks or within 15' of dwellings that are 3 units or larger.