Safe grilling can prevent accidents this Fourth of July - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Safe grilling can prevent accidents this Fourth of July

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Excited for grilling hotdogs and hamburgers (or veggie burgers if you're into that) this Fourth of July? 

Everyone should be excited. However, making a safety mistake while grilling could be costly. No one wants to spend a holiday in the emergency room.  

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney said he wants to remind all Mississippians to play it smart and use grilling safety when celebrating.

“The most dangerous time around a grill is when you light it," Chaney said. "You want to celebrate the Fourth with your family this year, not in the emergency room because you were careless when grilling."                                                                

To help keep your family safe during this Fourth of July Holiday period, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends that propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. Placing the grill away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches can prevent accidental fires. 

Parents should keep children and pets away from the grilling area. Parents should designate a specific area as the "grilling zone" and ensure their children understand to stay away from the area to prevent injuries.Never leave the grill unattended. 

An easily forgotten safety measure, cleaning the grill by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill surface and in trays below the grill can help ensure safety. Charcoal and propane grills both have specific safety measures that should be followed to celebrate the 4th safely. 

Charcoal grill users can prepare the grill in several ways. A charcoal chimney starter uses newspaper as a fuel to ignite the charcoal. If one decided to use starter fluid, make sure to only use charcoal starter fluid. One should never add fluid or any other flammable liquids after the charcoal has ignited. Parents should keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 

You can also use an electric charcoal starter, which does not use fire,  be sure to use an extension cord approved for outdoor use. After you finish grilling, one should let the coals cool completely before disposing them. To properly dispose of coals, a person should use a metal container. 

Before you use a propane grill for the first time that year, check the gas tank hose for leaks. To check for leaks, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If the grill has a gas leak and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, you should get the grill serviced by a professional before further use. If the hose leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smells gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Here's a list of metro deals and events for the 4th of July weekend. 

For more fire safety tips visit the State Fire Marshal page of the Mississippi Insurance Department website at: www.mid.ms.gov. or get tips on Twitter from @msfiresafe and @MSInsuranceDept.

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