State Fire Marshal’s Office shares safety tips for outdoor grilling

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 | 09:51am

NASHVILLE – Summertime is the peak season for outdoor grilling and grilling fires. This year, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office urges outdoor cooks to keep fire safety in mind as they start up the grill this summer.

From 2010-2014, Tennessee fire departments responded to 204 fires involving grills, hibachis or barbeques. Those fires resulted in two civilian injuries, two firefighter injuries and $5.9 million in property damage, according to the Tennessee Fire Incident Reporting System (TFIRS).

“Practice safety whenever you grill,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Julie Mix McPeak. “Place your grill well away from siding, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches. Never leave a grill unattended.”

Keeping safety your No. 1 priority while grilling can help make your summer cookout memorable for the right reasons.

  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Make sure everyone knows to “stop, drop and roll” in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.