CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Memorial Day weekend is a huge time for cookouts, but before you gas up the grill this weekend there’s a few things you should be aware of to keep yourself and your family safe.
Over the weekend, a man in eastern Massachusetts got burns all over his body after a propane tank attached to a grill exploded at his home.
Now the state’s fire marshals office is reminding residents to check your grill before you fire it up.
They’re reminding you to:
- Always grill outdoors
- Place grills about 10 feet away from the house and deck railings
- Never leave a grill burning unattended
- Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and trays below the grill
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- Never use gasoline on any grill.
Captain of the Holyoke Fire Department, Anthony Cerruti, told Media General contributors when they do see grill fires around this time of the year it’s usually because someone hasn’t cleaned off their grilling surface from the previous year.
“First make sure your grill is clean, we do get calls from time to time for grease fires. People turn their grills on for the first time, they don’t clean them at the end of last season so that grease is just sitting on there. You warm your grill up you get a little fire in the cooking area,” said Cerruti.
Before you fire up your grill this holiday weekend make sure you are checking the expiration date on your propane tank. These tanks have a life of 12 years. It is marked on the top of most tanks and if you have trouble finding it, anyone who refills tanks should be able to find that date for you.
“If your propane tank is old rusty it’s been awhile. They’re usually are good for about 12 years before they have to be tested. A lot of that stuff should be picked up by the distributor, the people who are filling up the tanks. They should be looking at those dates,” said Cerruti.
What many don’t realize is the propane tanks have a life span and should not be used after a certain date.
In just 4 years, there were more than 400 grill fires in Massachusetts and over $3 million in property damage.