Grilling tips to ensure a safe Fourth of July

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Grilling outside is an outdoor summer activity that sparks up the fun on the Fourth of July, yet around 9,000 house fires are caused by grills each year.

Grilling up some hotdogs and hamburgers while sporting the red, white and blue doesn’t have to be dangerous, if you just pay attention to some simple safety tips.

“The best thing is to maintain your equipment (and) be familiar with how to use the grill that you’re operating that year,” said Lewis Coble, Greenville Fire/Rescue chief of safety and training. “And that you have everything that you need ahead of time.”

Coble says Greenville Fire-Rescue sees an increase in grill-related and fires on Independence Day every year.

“The worst thing that could happen is have a flare up on the grill, someone throws water on it and that could potentially cause a really large flare up,” said Cobb. “And that’s where we would see the most severe types of injuries.”

The fire marshal wants you to remember when you’re finished grilling shut the lid and “turn off the fuel source and make sure that the grill is not near anything that could catch on fire. And just allow itself to burn out.”

Besides cooling the grill at the end of your cookout, Coble recommends cleaning the grates, paying attention to the products you use on the grill, and cooking in a well ventilated area.

“We like to recommend an average of ten feet around any structure or awning,” said Coble. “People do tend to forget that they heat rises from their grills so a lot of times they’ll cook on their covered decks, especially in their apartment complexes. And the vinyl siding is extremely susceptible to warping.”

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