NEWS | June 16, 2015

Be safe while grilling

By Joint Base Charleston Fire Prevention Office

Summer has finally arrived and outdoor activities are already in full swing due to warmer weather. It's time to start thinking and practicing grilling safety. The Joint Base Charleston Fire Department is actively involving our base-wide family with tips and tools to ensure safe practices when grilling.

According to the National Fire Protection Association statistics' from 2007-2011, fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,800 structure fires and 5,000 outside fires. Annually, these fires caused an average of 10 deaths, 140 reported injuries and $96 million in property damage.

General Safety Tips
· Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should ONLY be used outdoors.
· Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to an active fire.
· Gasoline should never be used as a starter fluid. Vapors are very flammable and will flash when  ignited, causing injury, damage to property and/or death.
· The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
· Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
· Keep grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grate.
· Never leave your grill unattended

Charcoal Grills
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready for use. One of the safest ways to start charcoal is with a charcoal chimney starter. It allows you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel. If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to an active fire. Gasoline should never be used as a starter fluid. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord UL rated for outdoor use. When finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. DO NOT PLACE HOT COALS IN ANY REFUSE CONTAINER!!!

Propane Grills
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. To test for a leak, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by the smell or soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

If you have any questions regarding this, or any other fire safety issue, call the Joint Base Charleston Fire Prevention Office at the Air Base (843) 963-3121/3122 and the Weapons Station Fire Prevention Office (843) 794-7808/7829. Remember, in case of any emergency dial 911.