Shelton fire officials: Cooking grills can be fire hazards

The late spring and summer bring the return of several seasonal fire hazards, with activities shifting outdoors.

Among the most common are those involving cooking grills, wooden decks, and use of gasoline and other flammable liquids, said Ted Pisciotta, the Shelton Fire Department’s assistant chief for fire prevention.

Some fire safety tips

Pisciotta offered the following advice to prevent fire hazards:

— Locate grills and any propane tanks or cylinders a safe distance from buildings, wooden decks and other combustible items. Never store propane indoors.

— Check to make sure propane gas hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will safely reveal any leaks.

— Inspect and clean the venturi tubes and burner (check owner’s manual) of gas grills, where spiders and small insects may make nests or spider webs. This could lead to a fire.

— Only use charcoal starter fluids designed for grills, and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.

Clean under wood decks

— Eliminate dry leaves, combustible storage or other debris from beneath wood decks. Avoid staging trash and other combustible materials on the deck.

— Avoid smoking on a wood deck. If you permit smoking, use suitable disposal containers or ashtrays. Never use paper or plastic cups, napkins, etc.

— Store gasoline and other flammable liquids in a building separate from the house or place of residence, such as a secured shed. Never store such liquids or propane cylinders within an attached garage or basement. Always keep out of reach from children.

— Use gasoline only for its intended purpose, as a motor fuel. Handle gasoline outdoors only.

Have working smoke alarms

Also, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call 9-1-1 for help. And remember to practice a home escape plan.

For more information, the public can contact the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau at 203-924-1555 or on the web under “Public Safety” at