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Remember basic grill safety as summer approaches
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds grilling enthusiasts and basic backyard cooks to remember grilling safety as the outdoor cooking season heats up.
"Nothing dampens an outdoor barbeque like a fire or burn," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. "With simple steps, mishaps can be easily avoided and dinner saved."
NFPA offers the following grilling safety tips:
•Gas and charcoal grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide poisoning.
•Place the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
•Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
•Keep children and pets away from the grill area: have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
•Use long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames.
•Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
•Use only charcoal starter fluid to start a fire.
•Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid to get the fire going.
•Store the charcoal starter fluid out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.
•Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles.
•If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
•Only use equipment bearing the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers' instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
•Never store propane gas tanks in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the tank and leave it outside.
If you have a grill fire, immediately move a safe distance from the fire and call 911.
Visit NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org for more grilling safety tips.
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