Fire department addresses grill safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Memorial Day weekend is the second busiest holiday of the year when it comes to grilling.

According to a study by WalletHub, 60% of Americans will fire up their grills these next few days and cook up hot dogs, burgers, and barbecue.

Before doing that, though, the Bowling Green Fire Department has several tips to keep you safe this holiday weekend.

Whether using a propane or charcoal grill, make sure to keep it away from anything that could catch fire easily.

The fire department also recommends using long-handled spatulas and tongs, as well as longer mitts to protect your arms from any kind of contact burns.

Young children and pets should also be kept away from the grills while they’re still hot.

With charcoal grills, regardless of what kind of lighter fluid you use to start them, let it sit and soak for a few minutes before lighting the charcoal.

If you need to re-light a charcoal grill, don’t use lighter fluid, but rather paper or some form of kindling.

Soak the coals in water when you’re finished.

As for propane grills, don’t store the tanks underneath the grill, and make sure not to leave re-filled propane tanks sitting in a hot car.

While it’s easy to walk away from the grill while food is cooking, it’s best to stay nearby just in case anything happens with the flames.

“I know it’s hard sometime when you’re grilling something for a little while, but you probably need to have somebody close by just to keep an eye on it,” said Marlee Boenig, public information officer for the Bowling Green Fire Department. “We do tend to get busy. We do tend to forget. Rather than forgetting that grill is actually cooking, and then possibly having a fire, make sure you stay close to it and keep an eye on it.”

Make sure to turn the grill off after use, and ensure it’s cooled off before putting any sort of cover back on it.