As summer arrives, it brings with it the outdoor cookouts and grilling that we all enjoy this time of year. As we all embark on this yearly ritual, the Westbrook Fire and Rescue Department encourages all residents to keep a few simple tips in mind to avoid accidental fires.

Using a barbecue grill

Never use a barbecue grill indoors. Place the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or under any surface that can catch fire. Be sure the grill is on a level surface well away from landscaping and hanging tree branches.

Gas grills – Before using your gas grill, check hoses, valves, and connections for cracks, holes, and leaks. Always store the gas cylinder outside and away from the house. When you are finished cooking, turn off the control valves and tank. Let the grill cool completely prior to covering.

Charcoal grills – Use only starter fluids designed for use on charcoal. Never use gasoline and never add more fluid after the fire has started or you may create an explosion or flash fire. When you are finished cooking, ensure the fire is completely out before leaving the grill unattended and close the lid. When disposing of ashes, wait at least 48 hours for them to totally cool and never place ashes in a combustible container such as paper or plastic.

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