May 19, 2009

Keeping holiday barbecue fires safe

Take extra care that burns do not mar Memorial Day weekend barbecues, a U.S. doctor warns.

Dr. Roger Yurt, director of the Hearst Burn Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, recommends not starting up a propane grill before checking it out first and inspecting the propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion.

Remember to always light the match before turning on the propane gas, Yurt advises in a statement.

Those using a charcoal grill need to know lighter fluid, gasoline or any other flammable liquid should not be used to light this type of grill. They also need to remember to use water to ensure coals are extinguished when finished and also to be careful not to dispose of briquettes while still hot.

Lastly, Yurt's safety recommendations for those using any type to grill to:

-- Use the grill outdoors and far from any structures that may catch fire, such as patio covers, garbage cans or buildings.

-- Never smoke cigarettes or use matches or lighters near the grill.

-- Avoid loose clothing -- especially long sleeves -- while grilling.

-- Keeping all children away from the grill.