“Due to record levels of dryness and low moisture content, we have seen many red flag days, and fire conditions are extreme, which could maximize the potential for a catastrophic fire,” the official press release said.
Each year, U.S. firefighters respond to nearly 8,000 home fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues, according to the SFD. These fires cause an average of $80 million in direct property damage. More than 18,500 patients visit emergency rooms each year with grilling-related injuries and more than 25 percent of these burns are to children under 5 years of age.
“We’re fortunate to have great grilling weather summer and fall,” said Sparks Division Chief and Fire Marshal Bob King. “Everyone must be careful around these open flame and ignition sources.”
Use these guidelines to protect your family and loved ones:
• Use grills at least 10 feet from your house and anything that will burn: This includes siding, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches.
• Establish a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grilling area. Watch out for pets, too.
• Grill outdoors only: Minimize fire hazard and avoid risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
• Dispose of hot coals only in proper receptacles: Coals may retain heat for 24 hours
• Periodically remove grease/fat buildup in trays below the grill to avoid ignition and flare-ups.
• Use long-handled tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames.
For more information, visit www.sparksfire.com and click on “Prevention,” or contact King at 353-2261.