Firefighters give safety reminder as grilling season heats up

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COLUMBIA - As Memorial Day weekend comes to a close, grilling season is in full swing and the National Fire Protection Association is reminding grillers to stay safe.

According to the NFPA's most recent report, grilling accidents result in an average of 8,800 home fires.

Many residents spent their Monday evening celebrating Memorial Day by the grill.

Taylor Ostrowski and Lauren Rittman consider themselves beginners in the art of grilling. 

"We're having a lot more success grilling now that someone told us what to do," Ostrowski said. 

Never having grilled before, the two asked neighbors in their Campus Lodge apartment complex for help on how to get their charcoal grill started.

While gas grills do contribute to a higher number of home fires than charcoal grills, all types of grills can pose a risk for fire and injury. The NFPA said the month of July is the month with the highest number of grilling fires. 

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

It suggests the following tips to keep in mind when grilling: 

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. 
  • The grill should be placed a good distance from the home, decks and overhanging branches. 
  • Keep kids and pets three feet away from the grill. 
  • Never leave your grill unattended. 

For more information on grilling risks, visit the National Fire Protection Association's website