Outdoor Cooking
Every year we look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions and picnics. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking. Annually, just fewer than 5,000 Americans are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that gas and charcoal grills are responsible for 3,400 structure fires in or on home properties each year. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following safety instructions will help everyone have a safe summer. Homewood Fire & Rescue Service recommends the following:

• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outside. They pose a great fire risk and also produce carbon monoxide and other toxic vapors.
• Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under any covered deck, patio or roofing.
• NEVER use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
• Do not store propane cylinders inside…leave them outside.
• Allow charcoal 48 hours to completely cool in the grill before disposing. Many people use cooled charcoal as a fertilizer and simply add it to their flower garden or soil.
• Charcoal should not be disposed of in a trash receptacle inside the house or garage due to the possibility of fire. Many fires have been the result of hot charcoal being placed in trash cans, bags or dumpsters.
• Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing while grilling.
• If you live in an apartment, always move your grill at least 10 feet from the structure before grilling. Never grill on an upper floor deck. Do not store grills on decks or in apartments. Always leave the propane cylinder in a designated safe area away from the apartment building.
• Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby in case the fire gets too large.
• Call 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.