BBQ season: what not to do when grilling

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Memorial Day weekend means a lot of barbecuing and spending some time by the grill. Although it sounds fun, it can sometimes bring unfortunate outcomes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2009 and 2013 an annual average of 8900 home fires involved grills.

For most people on holiday weekends, spending time outdoors is a must.

“We’ll see upwards of two or three thousand people that will come out and use the park over the four day weekend,” Executive Director of Fenner Conservancy Liz Roxberry said.

Having been Executive Director for two years, Roxberry says Fenner Nature Center is quite popular during this time of year…especially for grilling out.

“It’s certainly something that we have some tips and tricks that we recommend people kinda adhere to,” Roxberry mentioned.

She recommends if you plan on using a grill, being cautious is very important.

“You just kinda declare that space as a place that kids shouldn’t be running and playing in while you’re kinda getting those grills started,” Roxberry stated.

“You should always have an adult available even when you’re grilling or having a campfire to keep kids away from it,” Meridian Township Fire Department Chief of Training/EMS Operations Bill Priese said.

Priese says the first thing anyone should do is to make sure their grill is scrubbed clean.

“Remove any excess grease or anything that’s there,” Priese mentioned.

Roxberry agrees.

She says before you switch on or light a flame, clearing any debris is crucial.

“It prevents it from blowing and potentially hitting the ground someplace beyond your kinda safe zone,” said Roxberry.

Speaking of safe zones, Priese says although it’s important to keep your grill far away from your home…if precautions aren’t met fires can still happen.

“It doesn’t have to necessarily be right in contact to catch it on fire, the radiant heat coming off a grill is pretty high,” Priese stated.

But the number one thing to remember when grilling is…

“Never leave a grill unattended and make sure that it’s out or extinguished,” Roxberry mentioned.

If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks to keep you and your home safe…head to our website, click on our “Seen on 6” tab and click on the link that says “National Fire Protection Association.”

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