OLYMPIA – As we come to the end of August and with Labor Day just around the corner, Washingtonians are enjoying the last few days of summer. Plans may include outdoor activities and grilling. The dry, hot weather has made the conditions ripe for fires.
Last year in Washington State, the fire service responded to more than 6,000 natural vegetation fire incidents which included wildland fires. More than 2,000 of those calls were related to outdoor cooking and grilling.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office urges residents to keep outdoor grilling safe all weekend long and avoid contributing to an already very busy weekend for our fire service personnel. Ensure compliance with local burning restrictions which may restrict or prohibit the use of open flames and grills.
• Place portable grills outside at least 3 feet away from flammable materials including, fences, deck railings and exterior siding.
• Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from hot grills.
• Clean the grill and maintain it free from the accumulation of grease and fat buildup.
• Stay by the grill while it is lit, and watch what you are cooking.
• Use long handled cooking utensils to prevent burns.
• Keep loose sleeves rolled up to prevent contact with the hot grill and possible ignition.
• When turning off gas grills, close the valve at the tank and close the lid.
• When finished with a charcoal grill, ensure the coals are fully extinguished and cool before placing them in a metal container.
• Allow grills to cool fully before covering or putting away.
For more information contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.