Thursday, June 6, 2013


With the onset of warmer, dryer weather, Oregon State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace reminds Oregonians to be fire safe during barbecues and cookouts to avoid tragedy during summer activities. From 2008 through 2012, there were 203 grill-related fires in Oregon, resulting in nine injuries and more than $4 million in property loss.

"Cooking outdoors is a nice way to enjoy Oregon's wonderful summers with family and friends, and following a few basic outdoor cooking fire safety tips will help keep it safe,"  Wallace said. 

The Office of State Fire Marshal offers the following safety tips:
  • Use propane and charcoal grills only outdoors. Using them indoors or in any enclosed space such as a garage poses a fire hazard and exposes you and your family to deadly gases.
  • Place grills away from the home siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Place your grill a safe distance from play areas and foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area; declare a three-foot safe zone around the grill.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup from catch trays to prevent it from being ignited by a hot grill.
  • For propane grills, make sure to check the propane cylinder hose for leaks. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
  • Only use proper starter fluid for charcoal grills. Remember to keep it away from heat sources and out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Never add starter fluid when coals or kindling are already ignited.
"Also, make sure you dispose of ashes properly," Wallace said. "Even though ashes may feel cool to the touch, treat them as if they are hot. Soak them with water and place them in a nonflammable container. Store the container away from things that can burn."

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