Grilling safety tips for the Fourth of July holiday week

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of people in West Michigan will be lighting up the sky over the next few days, but first, they will be lighting up the grills.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for grill fires across the country. More than 10,000 house fires are started on grills every year. Also, the NFPA said gas grills contribute to a higher number of fires compared to charcoal grills. 

“Around this holiday is when we really need to be extra cautious and make sure that were being responsible when we use our grills,” said Grand Rapids Fire Department Lt. William Smith. “Last thing we need is somebody having to go to the emergency room with a burn or somebody losing their house over the holiday.”

24 Hour News 8 talked to the Grand Rapids Fire Department on how to avoid a grill fire. Here are their tips:

  • Make sure the grill is clean before using;
  • Make sure the grill is a good distance from your home, out from under leaves and overhanging branches; 
  • Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the grill at all times;
  • Never leave a grill unattended;
  • Make sure the gas grill lid is open before lighting.

Lt. Smith said one thing that doesn’t mix well is drinking alcohol and grilling.

“Sometimes people like to drink on the holiday, we don’t want anyone not paying attention to what they’re working on,” said Smith. “That’s the biggest cause, people being a little lax and not paying attention to what’s going on with their grill.”

Also, for anyone who has a propane grill, make sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks before you fire up the grill. Especially when it is your first time using it for the season.

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