Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start of barbecue season across the country, and while everyone should practice safety measures when firing up the grill, Coloradoans face unique dangers. The dry temperatures and widespread wilderness mean that the smallest spark can start a roaring blaze that sears multiple acres. Here are a few things you can do to make sure nothing gets burned aside from the ribs this summer.
Charcoal grills have potential to cause forest fires and burn injuries. Recall how a few stray embers started the Lower North Fork fire that raged across 4,000 acres and killed three people. Be very careful when removing food from a charcoal grill, as sudden movements can release embers into the air. Make sure the lid is closed when not in use.
Hazardous materials are more contained in propane grills than charcoal grills, but a mishap with propane can be devastating. Take a quick smell test of the grill to find any potential leaks. Mike Page of the Grand Junction fire department says to wipe down your propane grill with some soapy water. If the water bubbles, you have a leak. Fix the leak before sending out the BBQ invitations. Also, keep the grill at least 25 feet away from structures or combustible materials.
Keep a close eye on any open flame this summer, from a BBQ grill to a lit cigarette. A small spark can have unthinkable consequences, so keep on the lookout for any loose flame.
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