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Inspect your grill before firing it up

Grilling season kicks off this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday. Fire officials say people often accidentally set their decks or houses on fire because they didn’t inspect their grill properly before using it.

Before you start it up this weekend, make sure it’s safe to do so.

"We'll get calls for either the grill is on fire or the people calling to say their deck is on fire,” said David Cherrone, Fire Marshal, Clay Township.

If the grill has been idle all winter, you’ll want to check the connection first.

"If it sits outside replace it yearly. If you store it away then every other year is a good time to make sure that the diaphragms stay fresh- that you have less chance of leakage,” said Cherrone.

Next grab some dish soap and water to test for a leak.

If there's a leak or a loose connection, you’ll start to see bubbles.

"You might have this crossthreaded where it's not completely straight where you tightened it on,” said Cherrone.

Always light the grill with the lid open.

"What tends to happen is people will have the thing closed. they turn it, the gas is filling it up, they get their lighter reach down to light it and it flashes back,” said Cherrone.

Do not grill inside a garage or overhang at home, even if it's raining.

You also should not grill on an apartment deck unless it has a sprinkler system.

"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,” said Cherrone.

If you’re going to use a charcoal grill, don’t use too much lighter fluid.

Squirt just a little, then let it sink in – then light it. Don’t add more lighter fluid.

Cherrone says always use baking soda with charcoal.

It will absorb the grease so the it doesn't splash or light the grass on fire.

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