With summer almost here, Fire Chief Timothy J. Grenno and Police Chief Scott D. Benton would like to provide residents with grilling safety tips.
"Warmer weather means more people light the grill to cook for family and friends," said Fire Chief Grenno. "Grill fire calls are at their height during the summer, and we want all residents to stay informed on how to stay safe cooking over an open flame."
In order to prevent grilling fires and keep residents safe while cooking outdoors, the Whitman Fire and Police Departments recommend the following tips provided by the Department of Fire Services:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Place grills away from the house, siding, and deck railings and out from under
- leaves of overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
- Never leave a burning grill unattended.
- Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
- Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
- Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
- If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
- Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.
- Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
- Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.
"Each type of grill requires specific safety and maintenance procedures," said Police Chief Benton. "We encourage all residents to reference the provided grilling safety tips and consult their grill's user manual before cooking outdoors. Also, please look out for your kids who may not understand the safety precautions of operating a grill."