(NEW YORK) — Fire officials are warning folks to remember proper grill safety when lighting up the barbecue this Memorial Day Weekend.
David Cherrone, Fire Marshall for Clay Township, outside of South Bend, Ind., says a common mistake is grilling on wood decks and balconies.
“There’s nothing against your grill sitting on your balcony. It’s just that when you get ready to use it, it needs to be on the main level at least 15 feet away.” Cherrone said. “We’ll get calls for either the grill is on fire [and then] people calling to say their deck is on fire.”
Cherrone says another rule cooks often forget is to check for leaky hoses. Leaking propane is a serious fire hazard.
“If [the grill] sits outside, replace it yearly. If you store it away then every other year is a good way to replace those to make sure again that the diaphragms stay fresh, that you have less chance of leakage,” he said.
Cherrone also says to avoid lighting the grill when the lid is shut, as rather than allowing the gas to vent it builds up and flashes back upon ignition.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan, Chuck Johnston and David Williams, CNN
Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News