When the weather warms up there is nothing better than friends and family coming over for a cook out, but if you aren't careful your party could turn into a disaster. Each year over 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and many of those fires cause injuries like thermal burns. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while grilling this summer.
Flames are a necessary part of a back yard barbecue, but a fire outside of your grill is never a good thing.
"In the Summertime some of the calls we get pertain to turkey fryer or grilling type incidents," said Ron Kunda, Bismarck fire marshal.
Those incidents can turn into injuries.
"Burns tend to be the number one injury that we see not necessarily fires. Fires is number two," said Kunda.
I have here some hot dogs and hamburgers that I plan on cooking up on the grill. But fire fighters say there are several things you need to do before you ever fire up your grill.
"Keep at least two feet of distance away from the house if not more than the same with a handrail. If you're doing a lot of grilling not making sure your grill is clean you get these flare ups," said Kunda.
"Don't leave the tanks in the hot sunlight. Don't leave it locked up in a hot car. Don't bring them into the store to fill them up, it's illegal and unsafe," explained Hinz.
Hinz, a hardware store owner, says it's also important to maintain your grill each season. Check valves for cracks or leaks, as well as propane tanks.
"They are steel. They can rust things can happen. Certainly if you get a dent in the tank or leak don't mess with it. Just get a new tank. It's not worth the risk," said Hinz.
Once your food is done cooking shut off all valves.
"Follow the manufacturers instructions for cleaning it that way you prevent your grease build up," says Ron Kunda.
So by following these simple tips you can prevent your backyard party from becoming a tragedy safe grilling.
Be sure to clean your grills properly to avoid a build up of grease. The fire marshal also says that the department has an increase in burns around propane fire places and pits, which often have small rocks that stay hot for hours.