From the Harford County Department of Emergency Services:
(Forest Hill, MD) – – The Fourth of July holiday is always one of the highlights of the summer, with family and friends engaged in a variety of outdoor activities. One of those activities this holiday weekend will be gatherings that include barbecues and grilling.
With the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services offers the following safety information to help reduce the risk of fires and burn injuries resulting from barbecues and outdoor grilling:
• Propane and charcoal barbecues should only be used outdoors and under the close supervision of an adult.
• Grills should be placed well away from homes, patio deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging tree branches.
• Young children and pets should be kept away from the barbecue area.
• Help reduce the potential for fires by keeping the grill clean and remove grease or fat build up that may ignite.
• When using charcoal grills, use only approved charcoal lighter fluid. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a charcoal grill.
• Once charcoal briquettes have been lit, do not pour additional charcoal fluid on them as this may lead to a “flash-back” of flames on persons near the grill.
• When using propane fired grills, use only in accordance with the manufactures instructions. Ensure all connections are tight before lighting the grill.
• When finished using the barbecue, allow briquettes and coals to cool completely before disposal of the ashes. Only dispose of charcoal ashes in a metal container.
Recent statistics released by the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), reveal more than one-quarter of the dwelling fires involving barbecue grills originate on a courtyard, terrace or patio and nearly 30% start on an exterior balcony or open porch.
Outdoor barbecue grills produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas which can lead to serious health issues and even death. Remember never use an outdoor grill indoors, to include such areas as garages, carports or enclosed structures.
“The Fourth of July holiday weekend should be a time of enjoyment for our citizens and visitors to Harford County, but fire and burn injuries can and will occur if proper safety measures are not adhered to when using barbecue grills,” said Director Russell J. Strickland of the Department of Emergency Services. “Simply following these safety precautions can help reduce the risk of accidental fires and traumatic burn injuries,” Strickland added.