Summer 2001

Safe Bar-B-Q Grilling
Protect your Family and Property

As barbecue season begins, the New Hope Eagle Fire Company wants to
remind everyone how important it is for the entire family to be savvy
about outdoor cooking. All grills, gas and charcoal, can be extremely
dangerous if not cared for and used properly.

All outdoor grills have the potential to lead to tragedy when
carelessness causes structural fires or serious burns to people
and pets. According to the Insurance Information Institute,
backyard barbecues result in more than 2-thousand fires,
over 300 grill related injuries and 3 or more deaths each year.

The Eagle offers the following safety checklist to use when cooking
outdoors and will be happy to discuss any fire safety topic with
anyone interested. Just give us a call at 215-862-2692.

Avoid Deadly Grilling Dangers
- Keep a fire extinguisher accessible near your grill area when you begin.
Be sure you know HOW TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER before you need it!
The best type of extinguisher to have nearby when grilling is --------------------

- Be sure all children know how to dial 911 for any emergency situation.

- Do Not wear loose clothing while cooking.


- Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, party tents,
patio, fire escapes or under a surface that can catch fire.

- All grills in use should rest at least 15-20 feet from the house, car,
trees and party decorations.

- We also recommend awareness of the regulations for barbecuing if you live
in a condo, townhouse or apartment complex. A hot grill too close to the siding of a
balcony or patio can melt or burn it. Most municipalities have various burning related
ordinances and it would be wise to check the regulations where you live.

- Never leave any grill unattended or allow children to play or run in the area of the grill.

- Remember that alcoholic beverages are flammable! Keep them away from the grill.

Gas Grills Safety
Many injuries are caused each year when gas grills are improperly used and consumers take
uneducated chances regarding grill safety. A fire or explosion can occur when consumers first
use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time or just after refilling and
reattaching the grill's gas container. To reduce these risks, consumers should follow
these gas grill safety tips. It might prevent a tragedy.

- Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is extremely flammable.
Consumers should use extreme caution and always follow manufacturer's instructions
when connecting or disconnecting LP gas containers. Never attempt to repair the tank
valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.

- A gas grill should be checked for leaks every time the cylinder is replaced.

- Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease.

- Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage and push it through to the main part of the burner.

- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.

- Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.

- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.

- If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.

- Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can eventually leak gas.

Check for gas leaks!
- Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions,
if you smell gas or when you reconnect the grill to the LP gas container.

- We suggest following the manufacturer's instructions, however you can also
take a soapy solution (one part dish soap, five parts water) and pour it over
the connections. The solution will begin to bubble if there is a leak.

- If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and do not attempt to light
the grill until the leak is fixed! Do not attempt to repair or fix the leak yourself!

- Keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a leaking grill.
- See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.

Gas Grill Usage
- When lighting the grill, keep the top open. If the grill does not light
in first several attempts, wait 5 minutes to allow gas to dissipate.

- Check the ordinances and rules regarding grilling where you live.

If Your Gas Grill Catches on Fire
- If the fire is in the grill portion and seems "out of control" simply turn off the burners.

- If the fire involves one of the hoses and you can safely reach the propane tank valve,
shut the tank valve off.

- If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department (911)

- If there is any type of fire that threatens either personal safety or endangers property,
call the fire department (911)

Storing / Transporting LP Gas
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the grill and
use caution when storing LP gas containers.

- Always keep containers upright.

- To avoid accidents while transporting LP gas containers, consumers should
transport the container in a secure, upright position.

- Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.

- Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.

- Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk.
Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the
relief valve and allow gas to escape.

* Gas Grills manufactured before
    October 1, 1995...

Pre 1995 grills are required to have three additional safety features to eliminate leak hazards:
a device to limit the flow of gas in the event of hose rupture; a mechanism to shut-off the grill;
and a feature to prevent the flow of gas if the connection between the tank and the grill is not leak proof. Consumers should consider purchasing grills that have these safety features.

Charcoal Grills
Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when it is burned. CO is a colorless,
odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments.
Each year about 30 people die and 300 are injured as a result of poisonous
CO fumes from charcoal grills and hibachis used inside. In addition to the
Carbon Monoxide hazard, charcoal grills can cause fires and burn injuries.
To reduce injury and CO poisonings, follow these safety tips:

- Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents, or campers.

- Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided!

- Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished,
do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

- When lighting a grill, the safest fire starters are chemicals in cake form or
a charcoal electric starter.

- When using charcoal lighter fluid, follow the directions carefully and do not
use too much charcoal lighter fluid. Use only fluid made for charcoal grills
and NEVER any other type of fluid!

- To speed a slow fire, tuck dry kindling under the charcoal. Make sure the
barbecue grill is level and steady and keep a container of water nearby.

- Never add fire starter after you have started your barbecue or on an open flame.
The heat from the coals could ignite the stream of liquid and burn back to the can,
causing it to explode in your hands!

- Never attempt to re-ignite fizzling coals. The old coals should be dumped and
replaced with fresh ones.

- After cooking, soak the coals in water. Dispose of charcoal in a metal container
with a tight fitting lid. Many brush and house fires start because hot coals,
thought to be cool, were dumped in leaves or trash cans.

- Since charcoal produces CO until the charcoal is completely extinguished,
do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

- A bag of damp or wet charcoal should be immediately and prperly disposed of,
as it can spontaneously combust.


A fact-filled information resource for children, parents, teachers and firefighters!

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