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If You're Gonna Grill, Be Safe

A few tips to keep in mind to keep your outdoor barbecue from turning into a disaster.

It's not summer without grilling outdoors, but the hazards can be easy to overlook. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, firefighters respond each year to nearly 8,000 fires involving grills and barbecue pits. Those incidents result in nearly 120 injuries and $80 million in property damage annually.

So , if you are throwing one of the three billion barbecues taking place in the United States each year, here's what you can do to avoid contributing to the incident statistics.

Gwinnett County Fire Department's Safety Tips:

  • Do not use grills, barbecues or similar devises indoors - or in a confined area. Toxic levels of carbon monoxide can occur in an enclosed space.
  • Store combustible materials such as leaves, vegetation, paper products, tablecloths, charcoal bags, lighter fluid containers, etc. a safe distance from open flames.
  • Place grills and barbecues at least 10 feet from buildings and on ground level on a stable or solid surface.
  • Open-flame devises are not permitted on apartment balconies.
  • Start grills and barbecues with charcoal lighter fluid - never add charcoal lighter fluid to any open flame or embers.
  • An adult should supervise outdoor grilling at all times. Children and pets should be kept away from cooking ares to prevent burns or other accidents.
  • Charcoal ashes should be thoroughly soaked with water before disposing and placed in a non-combustible (metal) container for disposal.
  • Charcoal and liquid-fuel for grills and barbecues should be placed away from heat sources in a well-ventilated area.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) containers are to be stored away from a residence at ground level. LP gas containers for grills are not permitted on apartment balconies or within the apartment residence.

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