When warm weather hits, there isn’t anything better than the smell of food cooking on the grill. According to the National Fire Protection Association, July and August are two peak seasons for grill fires.
The Rock Island Fire Department has responded to six grill fires this year. Fire Marshall Greg Marty has offered tips for grill safety to avoid starting a fire. The first tip is making sure to keep the grill a safe distance from your house.
“You need to keep your grills at least 10 feet away from your house.” Said Marty. “We do see a lot of cases where grills are too close and combustible wood or vinyl siding actually will ignite and we’ve had pretty significant fires that way so the best way you can avoid this is just to have plenty of distance.”
The next step is making sure that your grill is clean. One way to do that is scraping the grease off the grates.
“That’s a fireman’s grill right there. You got nice clean grates, your burners are clean, the bottom pan’s been cleaned, the grease traps been cleaned. That’s a nice clean fireman’s grill right there.”
Now for charcoal grills there is an extra step that you need to take.
“The main thing is how you dispose of the charcoals after your fire is out.” Marty said. “It’s really important to make sure that charcoal burns all the way out and sits there for at least 24 hours before you try to dispose of it.”
Some grill fires have been started from being left unattended so you have to keep an eye on it until the fire is put out and be ready in case it gets out of hand.
“You also want to have a means of extinguishment available just in case you have a flare up or in case something does begin to spread, it’s nice to have some water. You know a hose, a fire extinguisher, something right there. Even a bucket of water so you can take care of it right away.”
Fire Marshall Marty is a grill master himself and he has a favorite item on his grilling menu.
“My favorite would be brisket. I like beef brisket. Slow cooked beef brisket over a grill.”
Marty also says that if you have a gas grill make sure to turn off the knobs and the the gas tank in the back of the grill.