Fire Marshal’s Office Shares Grilling Tips

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, Today's Events  Comments Off on Fire Marshal’s Office Shares Grilling Tips
May 142020

The Orange Fire Marshal’s office shared this information from the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association):

While there will likely be fewer gatherings with family and friends this Memorial Day in response to COVID-19, many observances of the holiday this year will likely continue to involve outdoor grilling. Plus, as more people continue to cook at home in the warmer months ahead, many of them will turn to their outdoor grills to prepare and enjoy meals.

These factors contribute to an increased risk of home grilling fires. In response, NFPA is reminding everyone to follow basic grilling safety precautions over Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

According to NFPA data, cooking equipment is the leading cause of U.S. home fires overall, annually contributing to nearly half (49 percent) of all home fires. NFPA estimates show that between 2014 and 2018, an annual average of 10,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues, which resulted in 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.

July is the peak month for grilling fires, followed by June, May, and August.

NFPA offers these tips and recommendations for enjoying a fire-safe grilling season:

• For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use. (Watch NFPA’s video on how to check for leaks.)

• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and in trays below the grill.

• Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.

• If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you have finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

• Never leave your grill unattended when in use.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, safe Memorial Day weekend!

OVFD: Avoid Dangers That Accompany Summer Fun

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, Today's Events  Comments Off on OVFD: Avoid Dangers That Accompany Summer Fun
Jul 042019

Summer activities peak during July. Everyone, for instance, loves food cooked on an outside grill. And although Independence Day is over, others celebrate summer with fireworks.

“These common activities are lots of fun, but can create hazards,” said the Orange Fire Chief. “But a little caution will keep things safe.”


Fireworks are responsible for about 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The celebratory explosives also are responsible for about three deaths and $43 million in property damage each year. In 2017, almost 13,000 people were seen in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. More a third of those were under 15 years old.

“Fireworks are inherently dangerous,” the chief said. “That’s one reason they’re illegal in Connecticut for non-professional, non-licensed consumers. We recommend you don’t use consumer fireworks. If you want to see fireworks, go to a professional display.”

While sparklers and fountains are legal, he said they’re just as dangerous as exploding fireworks.

“Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees,” he said. “To put that in perspective, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees. Would you want your child to hold on to a piece of burning wood?”

Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency department fireworks-related visits, according to the NFPA, the chief said. More information is available at the NFPA website.


“I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have some sort of grill, hibachi or other outside cooking areas,” said the chief.  “They make great food. But like anything else that operates at high temperatures, you’ve got to be careful.”

Unfortunately, he added, not everyone is.  Nationally, grills cause an average of 10,200 home fires a year, including 4,500 structure fires and $123 million in property damage. Grill-related fires cause 10 deaths and 160 injuries each year across the United States.

“It’s important to remember is that these devices are designed to be used outdoors, well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves or branches,” he said. “The grill shouldn’t be unattended, and kids and pets should be kept at least three feet away.”

He also recommended starting and ending grilling carefully. For instance, never add gasoline or lighter fluid to “speed up” your coals. And let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

For propane grills, the gas tank hose should be checked for leaks at the beginning of the year.  If you smell gas, shut off your grill and have it serviced by a professional. If the flame goes out, turn off the grill and the gas and wait at least five minutes before relighting. If you smell gas after you’ve had it serviced or turned it off, call the fire department.

“July is the peak month for grill fires,” said the chief. “Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. Either one can ruin a great cookout.”

More information about grilling safety is available on the NFPA website.

“Summer should be a time for lots of fun,” he said. “Being careful around grills and seeing fireworks displays performed by professionals are two important steps anyone can take to keep things fun while avoiding injuries and property damage.”

Those with questions can call the Orange Volunteer Fire Department at 203-891-4703.

About Orange Volunteer Fire Association

The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues, and other emergency services.

Operating strictly with revenues from fund-raisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut. Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.

In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations, and training. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703,  click on https://www.orangevfd.org/ or find us on Facebook.