The Merced City Fire Department offered the following tips for grilling safety:
--Propane and charcoal barbecue 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.
--When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Check the gas tank and hoses for leaks. That can be done by applying a light soap-and-water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you suspect that your gas grill has a leak, and there’s no flame, turn off the gas at the valve. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak doesn't stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.
For additional safety tips, go online to the fire safety/public education page within the fire department section of the city of Merced website.