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Kent Fire Department offers barbecue safety tips

The Kent Fire Department offers tips to avoid dangerous fires at barbecues. - COURTESY PHOTO, Kent Fire Department
The Kent Fire Department offers tips to avoid dangerous fires at barbecues.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Kent Fire Department

This weekend temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s and Saturday is the Summer Solstice – meaning it is the start of summer and the longest day of the year.

If you plan on having a barbecue, the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority asks you to keep these safety tips in mind:

General BBQ safety:

• Always use BBQs out of doors. Bringing them indoors increases the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Stay at the BBQ while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended.

• Keep kids away from BBQs. All BBQs burn very hot and even slight contact by a child can lead to serious burns.

• Set up BBQs well away from any combustible structures including fences, sunshades, and any building eaves.

• Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, and an aid kit handy in case of an accident.

• Remember that alcohol slows reflexes and dulls thinking. Avoid alcohol until finished cooking.

• Ensure that the BBQ is cool to the touch before storing.

Gas (propane or natural gas) BBQ safety:

• Always open the BBQ lid before turning on the gas to avoid gas build up.

• If your BBQ does not light immediately, turn off gas and consult your instructions.

• If you continue to smell propane once the gill is burning. Shut it off and look for signs of a leak.

• If you use a lighter or match to light a gas grill, light it from an opening on the side of the grill not from over the grill.

• Check the condition of the gas hose going to the BBQ and the connection to any compressed gas tanks.

• When you refill a BBQ propane bottle, check the bottle’s condition. Look for dent, corrosion, or rust.

• Check the expiration date stamped on the bottle and replace if necessary.

Charcoal BBQ safety:

• Avoid using excessive amounts of lighter fluid. Be patient when heating coals.

• Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to light BBQ.

• Move lighter fluid and charcoal containers away from BBQ.

• Charcoal can stay hot for several days after they appear out.

• Store charcoal ashes in an airtight metal container and store away from combustibles.

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