Email this article to a friend
Tips to prevent fires when using the grill
Monday - 5/28/2012, 7:16am  ET
Among safety tips when using a grill this Memorial Day weekend: Use long-handled tools to keep your hands at a safe distance from the heat and flames while grilling. (Thinkstock)
WASHINGTON - As thousands fire up the grill this weekend, don't let one dangerous
slip-up ruin the unofficial start to the summer.
Grills sparked an average of 8,200 house fires in the
U.S. Every year between 2005 and 2009, the National Fire Protection Association says. Those fires resulted
in an average of 15 deaths, 120 injuries, and $75 million in property damage.
Almost a third of grill fires started on a terrace or patio, according to NFPA, 28
percent started on a balcony or open porch and 6 percent started in the kitchen.
The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue put together a list of
helpful tips about using grills and smokers to keep residents safe. They also
outlined the county regulations on grilling:
- County code Section 9.1-45 prohibits the use and storage of any device that
uses flammable substances on a balcony. Flammable substances include things like
gasoline, charcoal lighter, liquefied petroleum gas and propane.
- Use grills or smokers within 15 feet of any apartment, condominium or other
building or structure.
- Stay with your grill and smoker while using it.
We have compiled a list of safety tips on grilling, courtesy Prince William County
Fire and Rescue and NFPA:
- Use long-handled tools to keep your hands at a safe distance from the heat and
flames while grilling.
- To keep built-up grease or fat from catching fire from the heat of the grill,
periodically check and empty the trays below the grill.
- Keep others away from the grill by setting up a three foot safety zone around
the grill or smoker while it is in use and during the cool down period. Keep
children and pets away from the grill.
- Dispose of hot ashes in metal containers only.
- 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.
The NFPA recommends checking the gas tank hose on propane grills for leaks before
using it for the first time each year. Follow these steps:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release
- If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is
no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill.
- If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it
- If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call
the fire department.
- Do not move the grill.
WTOP's Kathy Stewart and Meera Pal contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
Onlookers in vehicles ranging from strollers to wheelchairs lined Belair Drive to honor service members present and departed during the town's annual Memorial Day Parade on Saturday.
Sunday - 05/26/2013, 11:50pm EDT
At the rate she's going, Candice Glover will be done with her bucket list by the time she is 30.
Sunday - 05/26/2013, 07:24am EDT
Jersey shore hopes for a record-setting summer after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy
Friday - 05/24/2013, 06:02pm EDT
If you plan to climb aboard a boat this Memorial Day weekend, keep in mind small mistakes can lead to big problems.
Friday - 05/24/2013, 01:00pm EDT
A record number of families will gather in Arlington this weekend to honor their fallen military service members and to find support and comfort from other families coping with similar losses.
Friday - 05/24/2013, 05:43am EDT
Memorial Day weekend can be a dangerous time of year on the roads with more people traveling and attending parties and barbecues.
Friday - 05/24/2013, 05:40am EDT
More than 30 million plan to hit the roads Memorial Day weekend.
Friday - 05/24/2013, 05:31am EDT
Virginia State Police to boost patrols this weekend, aimed at reducing crashes
Friday - 05/24/2013, 04:30am EDT
Officials: Md., Del. beaches ready to see boost this summer after Sandy damaged towns to north
Friday - 05/24/2013, 04:03am EDT
Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Army's official ceremonial unit, Thursday placed flags before the graves and niches of all service members buried at both Arlington and the U.S. Soldier's and Airmen's Home National Cemetery.
Thursday - 05/23/2013, 02:38pm EDT
More than 2,000 US museums to offer free admission to military families this summer
Wednesday - 05/22/2013, 08:14pm EDT
For instance, if you spend Memorial Day weekend getting too much sun, apple cider vinegar can ease the sting of a sunburn.
Wednesday - 05/22/2013, 01:04pm EDT
Fewer Virginians are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the Memorial Day weekend.
Wednesday - 05/22/2013, 12:12pm EDT
Metro says it will be conducting track work on the red and orange lines over the Memorial Day holiday and closing a number of stations on both lines.
Wednesday - 05/22/2013, 12:07pm EDT
Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to hit the beach, so it's also a good time to think about water safety. We've got tips from the experts to enjoy a fun, injury free weekend in the water.
Wednesday - 05/22/2013, 07:46am EDT
AAA Mid-Atlantic expects a drop in the number of travelers on Memorial Day weekend and it points the finger at sequestration.
Tuesday - 05/21/2013, 03:09pm EDT
Beaches, rides and ruins await visitors to New Jersey shore in 1st post-Sandy summer
Tuesday - 05/21/2013, 02:03pm EDT
Civil War cannons at Appomattox get a lift to replace deteriorating wooden carriages
Tuesday - 05/21/2013, 08:17am EDT
Newest 'American Idol' to perform national anthem for Memorial Day concert at US Capitol
Thursday - 05/09/2013, 05:00pm EDT
Whether you burn yourself, get bit by a mosquito or just get motion sickness, there are a few weird home remedies that could help you this Memorial Day weekend.
Monday - 05/28/2012, 11:33am EDT