ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) – As the grilling and barbeque season arrives, the Ithaca Fire Department wants to remind residents of important grill safety.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, grill fires can cause an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $37 million in property loss each year nationwide.

It is important to practice fire safety when cooking or grilling outside. Below are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Grills should be placed at least 15 feet away from any home, building or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • Charcoal must be kept dry. Wet charcoal and spontaneously ignite. Charcoal and spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home in an area such as a backyard shed.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
  • Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.

For more information on how to stay safe this grilling season, contact your local fire station.