Before firing up your grill to celebrate the spring and summer seasons, don’t forget to take precautions for fire safety.
The Georgia Arson Control suggests the following tips to prevent grill fires:
- Keep leaves, debris and other flammable materials away from your grill. Also, keep the grill a safe distance from your house or car. Don't leave a grill unattended and keep children and pets away from cooking areas.
- Do not use gasoline for starting a fire. Only use lighter fluid designed for igniting charcoal fires and do not add any starter fluid after the charcoals are lit.
- Always light a gas grill with the lid open. After cooking, shut off the tank first, then the burners.
- Charcoal fires release carbon monoxide, which can reach toxic levels in an enclosed space, so only use outdoor grills outside.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Always follow the instructions for your grill and be aware of your local fire codes.
Georgia law states, “No charcoal or liquefied petroleum gas or liquid-fueled burners shall be kindled or maintained on balconies or within 10 feet of combustible patios on ground floors.” That means cooking isn’t allowed on apartment balconies.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May and August.
More than 10,000 home fires are started by grills each year, the NFPA reported.