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After Fire, County Reminds of Grill Safety Tips | Housing

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After Fire, County Reminds of Grill Safety Tips
After Fire, County Reminds of Grill Safety Tips

A fire Thursday afternoon in the southeast part of the valley prompts Clark County Fire Department officials to issue a reminder of grill safety.

At approximately 3:20 p.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to a fire that injured a man after his backyard barbecue grill caught on fire. The accident occurred at in the 8200 block of Beaverbrook Way.

Fire department officials say gas accumulated in the grill and when the man attempted to light the grill the top blew off, causing a flash fire that ignited the man’s clothes. The victim, approximately 50 years old, was transported to University Medical Center with serious burn injuries.

The Fire Department recommends the use of certified propane cylinders as the safest grilling source. Residents living in an apartment or condominium should contact their complex managers for specific requirements at their complexes.

The county code states: "Outdoor cooking with portable barbequing equipment is prohibited within 10 feet of any overhang, balcony, or opening. The storage and/or use of portable barbeques and equipment is prohibited indoors, above the first story, and within 5 feet of any exterior building wall. Adult supervision is required at all times while the barbeque is generating heat."

Other safety tips to keep in mind include:

  • Place the grill on a flat surface in an open area at least 10 feet away from buildings, siding, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves and brush. The grill should be a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
  • Stay with your fire from the time you light the grill until you finish cooking.
  • Do not leave starter fluid, lighters or matches within the reach of children.
  • Use long-handled grilling tools to have plenty of clearance from heat and flames.
  • During barbecue season, periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays and traps below the grill to avoid grease fires while barbecuing.
  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
  • When using a propane grill, make sure all connections are tight before turning on the gas. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose, gas connections and supply lines will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. Get the grill serviced by a professional if you detect leaks.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • After cooking, make sure you turn off both the barbecue and the shut off valve for the propane.
  • Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
  • If using a charcoal grill, use the proper starter fluid and store it out of reach of children, and away from heat sources. Never use gasoline or any other flammable to light charcoal.
  • Apply starter fluid directly to the coals and let it soak into the coals for a minute before lighting. If the coals start to die out, fan them to feed the flame. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire.
  • Allow coals to cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you are not able to wait, douse coals with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out.
  • Never dispose of coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers. Only metal containers are recommended.
  • The Clark County Fire Department recommends access to a garden hose in the event of a fire or spill of hot coals, and use of a metal container for disposing used coals.

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