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Tips to remember as you fire up the grill

ALPENA, Mich. — All around Northeast Michigan folks are rolling out their grills for the summer season, but before you fire it up, there’s a couple tips you should know to stay safe.

Summertime is peak season to crack open the grill. In fact, firefighters see more grill fires in the month of July than any other time of the year.

“It’s always important to keep your grill clean from debris and grease,” said firefighter Andy Marceau, a community risk reduction officer with the Alpena City Fire Department. “It can be a fire hazard if you have more grease” pilling up inside the grill. Marceau says throw it out.

Homeowners should be careful of where they’re grilling. If your grill is facing the back siding of your home, that can burn and melt the side of your sid side panels while grilling. The best thing is to move it away from a wall, and make sure the back of the grill is facing an open area where smoke and heat can escape.

The National Fire Protection Association says half of injuries are thermal burns from grills.

“Stay by your grill,” said Marceau. “You shouldn’t be going in and starting to do something else inside [the home.] Heaven forbid there’s kids come around it.”

Plus, keep propane tanks off when you’re not using them. It’s just another safety factor.

“Have fun while you’re grilling,” said the firefighter, “but be safe.”