With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, many are gearing up to celebrate the unofficial kickoff of the summer season by firing up the grill for a backyard barbecue. Be sure to stay safe during the festivities by following these tips.
General grilling tips
• Propane and charcoal grills should be used only outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves, overhanging branches, and balconies or decks.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
Before you use your grill
• Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
• Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks.
Check hose for leaks
• Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
• Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
• If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
• If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
• As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
• If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
• There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
• 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.
• There are also electric charcoal starters that do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Always wait until the next day to discard the coals to allow them time to cool down.
On behalf of the Hinesville Fire Department, have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day weekend.