Safe Grilling for July 4th

INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander went to the Nassau County Fire Academy to report on how to stay safe while grilling this holiday weekend.

BBQ's are in the forecast for millions of families this holiday weekend but be careful, there are some grilling dangers you may have never thought about.  INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander has the information to keep you and your family safe from tragedy.

In the blink of an eye that cookout you enjoy with your family and friends can go from safe to fatal.

With the help of experts at Consumer Reports magazine and the Nassau County, NY Fire Marshal's office, we've gathered some tips to keep you safe this holiday weekend.

Charcoal grills are gaining in popularity even though the coals may take a while to heat up.  Never rush anything by adding extra lighter fluid, this could start a large fire.

And if showers are in the forecast, don't be tempted to bring that charcoal grill inside the garage.  That could be a big mistake.

A carbon dioxide meter's alarms go off within seconds of bringing the grill inside indicating the presence of dangerous fumes.

When it comes to BBQ's, the propane grills still lead the pack in popularity.  But, before you fire up the grill, make sure you don't have any dangerous leaks.  To find out first, turn on the gas and then spray all connections with soapy water.

"If you see tiny bubbles, it's time to shut off the gas over here and make sure everything is fixed before you grill again," one fire marshal said.

At the Nassau County Fire Academy, marshals demonstrated what could happen if you light up propane BBQ that has a leak.

The fire blows out ten feet, engulfing a near bye mannequin in flames.

A fire marshal said, "His clothing went on fire, had this been a real person and not a dummy, this person would be in the hospital."

And always keep an all purpose fire extinguisher nearby just in case your grilling experience turns up in an emergency.

Barbecue Safety

    * Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.

    * Do not overfill the propane tank.

   * Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.

    * Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.

    * Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills.

    * Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

    * Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.

   * Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

For More Information:

U.S. Fire Administration: Summer Fire Safety

New York City Fire Department