Don't Get Burned With Grilling Safety

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Warm weather is here which means fun in the sun, and lots of grilling! Anytime you work with fire, there is always a chance of getting burned. Below are some tips to help keep your grilling safe:

• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
• Never leave your grill unattended.

For charcoal grills, 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, which 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.

Before starting a propane grill check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak identified 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 again. 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, and not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

The best way to enjoy your summer outdoor grilling is to take the necessary steps to prevent accidents, which includes maintaining and using your grill safely.