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Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 4:37pm
Las Cruces, NM (KDBC) — With the Memorial Day weekend upon us and the outdoor cooking season heating up, the Las Cruces Fire Department is reminding weekend chefs of some safety tips that can help keep their family safe.
According to national statistics, more than 6,000 outdoor grilling fires result in injuries or property damage each year. An estimated $27 million in property loss from grilling accidents is reported annually in the U.S.
The fire department recommends you follow all safety recommendations for the grill and fuel source being used. Gas, charcoal, or electric grilling and smoking can be done safely by following these and other safety tips:
• Maintain, clean and check your grill or smoker regularly. Check all hoses, tanks and other equipment to ensure they are in proper working order.
• Ensure that propane gas does not build up prior to lighting your grill.
• Place the grill a minimum of 10 feet away from your house, structure, garage or trees, and do not grill on flammable surfaces or in enclosed areas.
• Use long-handled utensils and avoid wearing loose clothing that might catch fire.
• Never leave a lighted grill unattended.
• Keep children and pets away from open fires, fire pits, grills and smokers. Establish a safety zone around the cooking area and instruct children to remain outside that zone.
• Have a fire extinguisher or suppressant available at all times.
• Prevent the build-up of grease and oil to avoid fires. Grease and oil fires are best extinguished by smothering the flames. Never use water to extinguish grease or oil fires.
• Never dispose of hot coals. Douse coals with water and stir to ensure they are no longer burning. Never place hot coals in garbage dumpsters.