State Fire Marshal Urges Safe Grill Practices for Summer

Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey

HYANNIS – State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey has provided safety tips for residents to practice safe grilling as the summer season approaches.

“The Memorial Day barbecue may be smaller this year, but we still need to practice safe grilling as we celebrate the unofficial start of the summer season,” said Ostroskey in a statement.

“Take a few minutes for a safety check and inspect grills for leaks and cracks, and teach children to stay three feet away from any grill in use.”

Ostroskey said that soap can be useful for finding leaks before lighting a grill.

“Check to make sure all the connections are tight and secure before firing up the gas grill for the first time this season. Using a brush, apply a soapy solution made of one part dish liquid and one part water to the tank connection. If the solution bubbles, you have a leak that needs repair.”

The location of the grill is also an important factor for safety, according to the Fire Marshal.

“Grills can only be used on first floor porches, decks, or patios if there is an outdoor stairway to the ground, or the porch is at ground level. Grills are prohibited on any porch, balcony or deck that has a roof, or overhang,” said Ostroskey in a statement.

Fire safety is important according to Ostroskey, as there has been 449 fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues over the past five years.

The fires caused 20 civilian injuries, five firefighter injuries and $3.8 million in estimated property damage.

In 2019 alone, The Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System reported 81 fire and explosion incidents involving open fire grills.

The State Fire Marshal advises that residents always read and follow the owner’s manual for any cooking appliance, grill outdoors only and keep children and pets three feet away from the grill.

He also advises 10 feet of distance between grills and the house, as well as avoiding placing grills on fire escapes.

If the smell of gas is present while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.

Ostroskey reminds residents to also always shut off gas flow after each use and before disconnecting the propane tank.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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