DENVER -- Every year across the country, nearly 9,000 home fires are caused by grilling. Memorial Day weekend marks the official start to barbecue season and the metro will see a lot of people cooking. Inevitably, someone will get hurt.
“We don’t want to be a hamper to anyone’s fun, but we want everyone to be able to celebrate in a safe fashion,” Denver Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Taylor said.
Pictures taken earlier this month by the Brighton Fire Department show how dangerous a grill fire can be.
“The No. 1 contributor to grill fires is that grills are placed too close to the home and they are left unattended,” Taylor said.
In this case, no one was hurt but the damage to the home was extensive, and sites like this are not uncommon for firefighters.
Annually in the U.S., grilling causes nearly 9,000 home fires and is responsible for 16,000 emergency room visits.
Firefighters say the most important thing is to make sure the grill is clean.
“If there’s anything on it from last year, those remnants that remain on the grill can be highly flammable,” Taylor said.
Also, make sure it’s not too close to the house siding, overhangs or anything that can easily catch fire, and check the fittings on propane tanks and any gas lines coming out of the home.
“If you have pre-piped propane, make sure you’re checking those fittings again, cleaning them, checking for debris in those lines just making sure everything’s squared away for the season,” Taylor said.
Finally, if you find yourself in a situation that is out of your control, don’t hesitate to call the proper authorities.
“Let’s just make sure we’re being safe about it,” Taylor said.
Children and pets are often victims of grill injuries. Make sure they stay far enough away from the flames or any smoker pits so you aren’t spending your holiday in the ER.AlertMe