LCFD offers tips for safe outdoor cooking

LCFD offers tips for safe outdoor cooking
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 10:27am

With the backyard cooking and grilling season heating up, the Las Cruces Fire Department is reminding weekend chefs of some tips that can help keep them safe.

According to national statistics, around 6,500 outdoor grilling fires result in injuries or property damage each year. An estimated $27 million in property damage 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 can be done safely by following these and other safety tips:

• Maintain, clean and check grills, propane hoses and tanks regularly to ensure they are in proper working order.

• Periodically clean your grill to prevent the build-up of grease or oil.

• Grease and oil fires are best extinguished by smothering the flames. Never use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire.

• Keep a fire extinguisher or fire suppressant nearby and available at all times.

• Keep the grill a minimum of 10 feet away from your house, garage or trees, and do not grill on flammable surfaces (wood decks) or in enclosed areas (garages).

• If cooking with a discada ‘disco’ or turkey fryer, ensure that the burner and propane tank are a safe distance away from each other.

• Use long handled utensils and avoid wearing loose clothing.

• Never leave the grill unattended.

• Establish a ‘safety zone’ around the grill and keep children, pets and flammable material outside that zone.

• Never dispose of hot coals in a trash bag or garbage container. Douse coals with water and stir to ensure they are no longer burning.

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