Firing up the grill this weekend? Firefighters have some safety tips for you

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, which means you’re probably dusting off that grill and filling up your propane. A reminder, it can be dangerous, if you’re not careful.

From 2013 to 2017, nationwide, there was on average more than 10,000 fires started by backyard barbecues every year. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association. Spokane firefighters want to make sure you don’t become part of that statistic.

The first thing you should do before even heating up the grill – making sure your grill is in a good location.

“A lot of people aren’t thinking about where there grill is,” said Lieutenant Ethan Verduin, Spokane Fire Department. “It’s right next to their house or next to their railing, or right under the eve.”

Firefighters said your grill should be at least ten feet away from your house.

In case a fire does spark, you don’t want it anywhere near your home. You also never want to take your eyes off the grill. Firefighters want you to be mindful of the open flames. Grilling is not the time to multi-task and try to get other chores done.

“That’s kind of when things can go bad, right? Is when we’re not there watching it,” Lt. Verduin said.

Once that fire gets going, it really gets going. It only takes minutes before that flame can overcome your grill and everything around it, especially when you’re grilling meat.

“Burgers that are high in fat, they have a more propensity to get the fat to melt, whereby there’s the grease and you get more flames,” Lt. Verduin said.

It’s also important to clean your grill. When you don’t, layers of grease build up and you’re providing more fuel for flames.

Lastly, while barbecuing with the family can be fun, firefighters are reminding families to keep children and pets away from the grill. Firefighters said the same safety rules apply whether you’re using a propane, natural gas or charcoal grill.

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