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Grill Safety this Memorial Day

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
Grilling Tips on Memorial Day

HORSEHEADS (WENY) -- With Memorial Day upon us, many people may be firing up the grill for the first time in months.
      Town and Country Fire Department says the number of accidents related to cooking increases over the holidays.
     Assistant Fire Chief, Dirk Wheeler recommends being careful and aware of your surroundings,
     He says you should check your grill, particularly for propane leaks before using it. You should clean it of grease regularly and keep it at least ten feet away from your home.
     "Usually the problem arises when somebody has a grill up against a structure, or under an awning or an overhang and it catches something else on fire," said Asst. Chief Wheeler.
     According to the Firemenís Association of the State of New York (FASNY), in 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,600 structure fires and 5,000 outside fires. These 8,600 fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 reported civilian injuries, and $75 million in direct property damage.
     Asst. Chief Wheeler says his department has also responded to grill fires after kids played with a grill.
     "So try to keep your kids away from the grill, even when it's not being used," said Wheeler.
     The Assistant Chief says you should keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill as