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Westport Fire Department Warns Of Grilling Dangers

Now that summer's here, it's time to fire up the grills. But the Westport Fire Department is reminding residents to use caution when grilling to prevent fires.
Now that summer's here, it's time to fire up the grills. But the Westport Fire Department is reminding residents to use caution when grilling to prevent fires. Photo Credit: Jun Seita Flickr

WESTPORT, Conn. -- With the return of warm weather and the official start of summer, its time to fire up the grills and throw on some burgers and dogs, and the Westport Fire Department wants to make sure that residents are being safe.

“This time of year, there’s nothing better than a backyard barbecue with family and friends,” said Chief’s Aid Neil Perrotti. “However, grilling poses an increased risk of home fires and personal injury. July is the peak month for grill fires. But, by following some simple safety guidelines, people can stay safe and make the kind of summer memories you want to last a lifetime.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), two out of three households own a gas grill, and grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires every year.

To help keep everyone safe this summer, NFPA offers the following grilling guidelines:

  • Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
  • Place grills well away from homes, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep grills clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

Before using propane grills:

  • Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that: Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle. Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see). If there are no bubbles, the grill is safe to use. If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
For charcoal grills, remember:
  • If using 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.
  • When done grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

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