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State Fire Marshal's Office encourages safe grilling practices

AUSTIN, August 29, 2014— College football season is underway, which means tailgating, barbecuing, and outdoor grilling.  Whether you are grilling at a tailgate party or in your back yard, always make sure you are grilling safe.

Grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food, but it can also be a fire hazard.  According to State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy, approximately half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.  “If you follow a few simple safety tips, you can prevent injury,” Connealy said.

These simple grilling tips will have you on the way to safe grilling.

  • Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railing, and out from under eves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet 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.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Currently there are 77 burn bans in place across Texas’ 254 counties.  Contact your local fire marshal or fire department to make sure it’s legal to barbecue or grill in your area.  A number of cities and towns have prohibited all types of grilling and barbecuing in their public parks. Burn ban violations are generally classified as Class C misdemeanors and can result in fines up to $500.

More information about safe grilling can be found at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/sfmo/fmgrillsafety.pdf.  The State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Texas Department of Insurance.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Rachel Moreno, Rachel.Moreno@tdi.texas.gov or call 512-305-7503.

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