PFPD safety tips for grills and waterways

By Pagosa Fire
Protection District
Special to The SUN
July is the season for cooking outside. It is also the month with the most grill fires. Nationally, fire departments average over 10,000 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, these fires cause an annual average of 10 deaths, 160 injuries and $123 million in direct property damage. Adhering to the proper grill safety rules will provide a safe, enjoyable experience.
Grill safety tips
Only use your grill outside, positioned on a solid, debris-free surface. Keep it at least 3 feet from siding, deck rails and eaves. Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to keep kids and pets safe. Do not leave a lit grill unattended.
Grill care
Always clean your grill after each use to remove grease that could cause an unintended fire. Wait until grill is cool to remove coals; place cool coals in a metal container with lid.
Water safety
A large snowpack last winter has left us with much-needed moisture this summer, which caused waterways to flow swiftly.
Keep children and pets a safe distance from water’s edge to prevent accidentally falling in.
Always wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests.
Remain alert and aware when supervising swimmers; do not get distracted by phones, tablets or conversations.

This story was posted on July 21, 2019.