75% of all grill fires happen between May & September

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Summer grilling season starts this weekend, and 22News is working for you with ways to stay safe and avoid fires.

If this is your first time firing up the grill this year, you need to make sure there are no leaks in the tank connection.

“Check to make sure all the connections are tight and secure before firing up the gas grill for the first time this season,” said Fire Marshal Stephen Coan. “Using a brush, apply a soapy solution made of one part dish liquid and one part water to the tank connection. If the solution bubbles, you have a leak that needs repair.”

Never use a grill indoors. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill, and never use gasoline on any grill.

Fire Marshal Coan said many of the grill fires in 2013 started when the grill was placed right up against an exterior wall. There were 85 fires reported to the Mass. Fire Incident Reporting System involving open fired grills. Two people suffered injuries and the damage cost about $300,000.

Below is the full list of the State Fire Marshal’s safety suggestions:

  • Grills should never be used indoors or on fire escapes.
  • Gas grills cannot be used on balconies above the first floor unless there is an exterior stairway to the ground.
  • Grills should be placed well away from the house (about ten feet), deck railings and out from underneath eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets three feet away from the grill area. Create a circle of safety.
  • Never leave your grill burning unattended.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and trays below the grill.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait 15 minutes before relighting.
  • Never use gasoline on any grill!

Fire Marshal Coan also said, “Safety must also be used around charcoal grills. Once the coals have been lit, never add lighter fluid to the fire; flames may travel up the stream of lighter fluid resulting in serious burns.”

Make sure you always use charcoal grills outside in a well-ventilated area, and be sure to let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container, Fire Marshal Coan added.

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