STATE FIRE MARSHAL PRESS RELEASE: State Fire Marshal Urges Safe Start to Fourth of July Holiday With Grilling Safety

JACKSON-Mississippians looking to get an early start of the Fourth of July
holiday with a cookout this weekend need to know and practice grilling fire
safety before lighting the grill. Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire
Marshal Mike Chaney today reminds consumers that we are entering the peak
month for grilling fires. More grilling fires occur during the month of July
than any other month.

³The most dangerous time around a grill is when you light it. Also, you have
a greater risk of a fire using a gas grill, with statistics showing gas
grills were involved in an average of over 7,000 home fires annually between
2006-2010,² Chaney said.

As citizens celebrate our country¹s freedom every Fourth of July, more lives
and property are threatened by fire than any other day of the year. Between
2006 and 2010 fire departments across the country responded to an average
8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbeques per year. These
fires caused an average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 reported civilian
injuries, and $75 million in direct property damage.

³Take extra care with your grill this year; you want to celebrate the Fourth
with your family, not in the emergency room,² Chaney said.

Grilling injuries sent 16,600 patients to emergency rooms in 2011. The
National Fire Protection Association states that roughly one-half (1/2) of
reported gas grill injuries were thermal burns and almost one-third (1/3) of
gas grill injuries were incurred while lighting the grill. Gasoline or
lighter fluid was a factor in roughly one-quarter (1/4) of reported charcoal
or wood burning grill burns. More than one-quarter (28%) of the home
structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace, or patio.

To help keep your family safe during this Fourth of July Holiday period, the
Mississippi State Fire Marshal¹s Office, recommends these grilling safety
tips:

· Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

· The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings
and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
* Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
* Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills
and in trays below the grill.
* Never leave your grill unattended.
Charcoal grills
* There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney
starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
* If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add
charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
* Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat
sources.
* There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure
to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
* When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before
disposing in a metal container.
Propane grills
* Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each
year.
* Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will
release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn
off the gas tank and grill.
* If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using
it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
* If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and
call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
For more fire safety tips visit the State Fire Marshal page of the
Mississippi Insurance Department website at: www.mid.state.ms.us
. or get tips on Twitter from @msfiresafe and
@MSInsuranceDept.