NEWS | May 15, 2018

Cooking up some summertime fire prevention safety tips

By Patrick Galvin 628th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services

When the time comes to haul out the gas grill, camping equipment and lawn mower, give some thought to this cooking safety advice from the Joint Base Charleston Fire Emergency Services. It could keep you a lot safer this summer: 

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries,” says Gregory Russell, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron fire emergency services assistant chief. “We offer these eight safety items to keep you and your family safe over the summer months and all year long.”

Do a top to bottom inspection of your grill. Look for any signs of rust, because the metal pieces have a tendency to rust when they’ve been exposed to the elements.  If your grill has been covered, then check for bugs and pests that may have snuck in during the winter.

It’s also important to check the fuel line on gas grills. After giving it a visual check for any cracks, try the soapy water test. Brush soapy water on the line and along the connections. If you see bubbles while the gas is running, tighten your connections or replace the line.

Keep grills away from structures and overhanging branches. Soak the coals with water before you discard them and leave the grill away from the house until completely cool

Wear short sleeves or roll them up so they don’t catch on fire, loose clothing items can easily be ignited. Move things that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains

Create a safe zone around your cooking area. Make sure children and pets stay at least three feet away from a hot stove or grill. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump them or pull them over.

Keep an eye on what you fry. Most cooking fires start when someone is frying food. Never leave a stove or grill unattended, no matter what.

Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.

Make sure you are awake and alert whenever you are cooking. Alcohol and some drugs can make you sleepy and lead to unsafe actions.

For additional fire safety information, contact the Joint Base Charleston Fire Prevention Office at 843-963-3121/794-7808. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JBCFES