Fire experts urge caution when cooking over an open flame

Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 5:04 PM CDT
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PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - The sizzle of a grill is a familiar sound around the Fourth of July, but before you turn up the heat fire experts urge caution.

“Think about what would happen if something goes wrong,” said Pike Road Fire Chief Matt Missildine.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that July is the peak month for grill fires

The chief recommends folks check their surroundings before firing up the grill.

“People that want to grill or fry things on a wood deck, I would encourage them to think about that,” Missildine said. “What happens if that grill turns over?”

The Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office encourages people to place their grill far from any deck railings and overhangs.

They say propane and charcoal grills should stay outside. You should keep your grill clean by removing any grease or fat buildup. People should also never leave their grill unattended.

Anytime you are around an open flame, like a campfire, caution is advised.

Before you leave the campsite, you will want to make sure that fire is fully extinguished.

Some campsites may have specific rules about applying water or dirt on top of the ash.

“You may not see any smoke. You may not even feel any heat, but it could be enough heat down in there, weather changes, it gets a little bit of air to it, and it can start back up,” Missildine added.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends having at least a 3-foot safe zone around both grills and campfires.

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