Fire safety is critical to all of us here at Get Your Grill On. Remember always, that just because you\u2019re comfortable around a live fire; fire can still be a destructive and dangerous force. Stay alert and be safe out there. With the live fire cooking coming in earnest to us here in the Northern Hemisphere, here are some suggestions for \u201cbarbecue\u201d safety as published by The Fire Department of New York City. (Barbecue in New York City???!?!?!?!? - We\u2019ll save that discussion for another day.) BEFORE BARBECUING \tCheck your grill thoroughly for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it. \tClean out the tubes that lead into the burner. \tMake sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage, or trees. \tStore and use your grill on a large flat surface that cannot burn (i.e., concrete or asphalt). \tDon\u2019t use grills in a garage, porch, deck or on top of anything that can catch on fire. \tKeep children away from fires and grills. It is a good idea to establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside the area. A chalk line works great for this purpose. \tHave a fire extinguisher, a garden hose attached to a water supply, or at least 16-quarts of water close by in case of a fire. DURING BARBECUING \tDon\u2019t wear loose clothing that might catch fire. \tUse long-handled barbecue tools and\/or flame-resistant mitts. \tNever use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid to start or freshen a fire. \tNever pour or squirt starter fluid onto an open flame. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid\u2019s path to the container in your hands. \tKeep alcoholic beverages away from the grill; they are flammable! \tNever leave the grill unattended. AFTER BARBECUING \tAlways follow the manufacturer\u2019s cleaning and storing instructions that accompany the grill. \tKeep your grill clean and free of grease buildup that may lead to a fire. \tNever store liquid or pressurized fuels inside your home and\/or near any possible sources of flame. IN CASE OF A BARBECUE FIRE \tFor PROPANE Grills - turn off the burners. For CHARCOAL Grills - close the grill lid. Disconnect the power to ELECTRIC Grills. \tFor PROPANE Grills - if you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off. \tIf the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department. \tIf there is any type of fire that either threatens your personal safety or endangers property, call the fire department. \tNEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water. It will only cause the flames to flare up. Use an approved portable fire extinguisher. PROPANE GRILLS The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 500 fires and 20 injuries occur every year from gas grill fires and explosions of grills that have not been used for several months. \tCheck the tubes leading to the burner regularly for blockages. Check with your specific grill manufacturer\u2019s instructions. \tCheck for leaks EVERY TIME you replace the cylinder. Pour soapy solution over the connections and if bubbles begin to form, there is a leak. Placing the soapy solution into a spray bottle makes it much easier to apply. If there is a leak, turn off the grill IMMEDIATELY and have it fixed. Do NOT use the grill until the leak is fixed. \tMake sure all the connections are secure BEFORE turning on the gas. \tNever start a propane grill with the lid closed. Gas can accumulate and when the grill is ignited may cause an explosion. \tOnly get propane from approved compressed gas suppliers. \tBefore getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it. \tNever store propane cylinders indoors or near any heat source. \tNever transport or store propane cylinders in the trunk of your automobile. \tALWAYS shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators. CHARCOAL GRILLS The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that every year about 20 deaths and 400 injuries are treated resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills. \tDue to the production of carbon monoxide when charcoal is burned, charcoal grills should not be used inside homes, vehicles, tents, or campers, even if ventilation is provided. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, you will not be alerted to the danger until it is too late. \tNever use any flammable liquid other than barbecue starter fluid to start a charcoal barbecue. \tUse the starter fluid sparingly and never put it on an open flame. \tNever add fire starter after you have started your barbecue to speed a slow fire or rekindle a dying fire. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid\u2019s path to the container in your hands. \tRemove the charcoal ashes from the grill and place them into a metal container with a tight-fitting metal lid. Add and mix in water with the ashes, and set aside for several days. Dispose of the mixture in accordance with your Department of Sanitation\u2019s guidelines. \tRemove the ashes only after they are completely cooled and no warm embers remain. \tAlways soak coals with water after cooking; they retain their heat for long periods of time. \tKeep damp or wet coals in a well-ventilated area. During the drying process, spontaneous combustion can occur in confined areas. ELECTRIC GRILLS \tKeep the grill at least 10 feet away from any combustible material. \tDo NOT use any flammable liquid to start an electric grill. \tFollow the manufacturer\u2019s instructions in the use of an electric grill. \tWhen using an electrical extension cord, make sure it is appropriately rated for the amperage required for the electric grill. Otherwise, you could risk an electrical fire. REMEMBER - \tNever use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. It is both dangerous and illegal in many areas. \tPropane barbecue grills and no more than two (2) 20-pound propane tanks are allowed on the grounds of a one or two-family home, but be sure to follow the fire safety precautions above. \tOnly use a charcoal barbecue on a balcony or terrace if there is a ten-foot clearance from the building and there is an immediate source of water (garden hose or four (4) gallon pail of water).