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When it comes to grilling in Oklahoma, put safety first

When it comes to grilling in Oklahoma, put safety first
by Dave Cathey Published: May 20, 2014

Oklahoma County is in a burn ban along with 35 other counties in the state, but outdoor cooking is NOT prohibited “provided that the activity is conducted over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation,” according to Gov. Mary Fallin’s burn ban decree issued May 5.

The document further notes butane-fueled pressurized stoves also are exempt from the burn ban.

But the decree warns that “any fire resulting from grilling or the use of one of these cookers or stoves is still an illegal fire.”

The National Fire Protection Association offers the following reminders:

•Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

•The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

•Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

•Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

•Never leave your grill unattended.

For charcoal grills

•There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.

•If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

•Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

•There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

•When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

For propane grills

•Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you determine your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

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