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MD Fire Marshal Issues Grilling Safety Tips

May 27th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Memorial Day weekend is a time for remembrance of those that gave the supreme sacrifice in honor of our Country.  Families across Maryland will venture outside to the beach, the mountains or maybe just to their backyards to spend quality time together.  However, increased outdoor activities also result in an increase of outdoor fire risks; therefore the Office of the State Fire Marshal is providing a few common-sense tips that will help Marylanders enjoy a safe grilling season. 

     Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Gas Grills:

·        Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders should always be transported in the upright position on the floor of the vehicle with all windows open.  Never transport cylinders in the trunk of a car.  Remove the cylinder from the vehicle as soon as possible.

·        Ensure all connections are tight.  Check all connections with soapy water. The appearance of bubbles indicates leaks, re-tighten leaking connections.

·        Make sure grease is not allowed to drip onto the hose or gas cylinder.

·        Store the cylinder (including those attached to barbecues), outdoors in a shaded, cool area out of direct sunlight.

·        Read thoroughly and follow manufacturer’s instructions for gas grill use.  Save the instructions for later reference!

Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Charcoal Grills:

·        Use only a small amount of charcoal starter fuel. A little goes a long way! Consider using charcoal that does not require starter fuel for ignition. 

·        Once a fire has been started, never add more starter fuel!  Fire can easily follow the stream of fluid back to the container causing an explosion and potential serious bodily harm.

·        Use great caution in disposing of ashes.  Ashes may contain live coals that can start a fire if not disposed of properly.  The safest method is to wet the ashes thoroughly with water before emptying the barbecue.  Only transport ashes in a metal container.

      Please be reminded that other than one and two family dwellings, no use or storage of hibachis, grills or other similar devices used for cooking shall be located on any balcony, under any overhanging portion or within fifteen feet of any structure. 

      With any outdoor style cooking equipment, never be tempted to use them inside – not even in a garage with the door open or on a porch or a balcony.  “Outdoor grills produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas which even in small quantities can cause injury or death.  LPG cylinders that develop a leak indoors can result in an explosion with devastating results,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.  “Please celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend as safely as possible”.

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