Fire departments share grilling safety tips

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - It's Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to summer, and many people will be firing up their grills for the first time this year, and there are some things you should know to keep yourself safe.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews is reminding everyone to stay safe this grilling season.

If it's the first time using your grill this year, Chief Matthews recommends cleaning the surface and the pan to make sure there's no grease remaining from last year, and checking for any animal friends that could have made the grill a home over the winter.

He also says it's a good idea to check all the hoses to make sure the connections are stable.

Chief Matthews says it's really important to keep your distance when grilling.

"Keep your grill away from your home when you're using it," Matthews said. "They are very hot, sometimes they get upwards to 500 degrees, so keep them away from your deck railings, or your home, and if a fire would occur, you definitely don't want it under the eaves where it could get up to the attic space."

Matthews recommends letting your grill cool off completely before moving it or putting the tarp back on, as fires are often caused that way.