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Gaian further advised grillers to check that propane tank fittings are tight and free of rust and cracks. When lighting a gas grill, he says, open the lid so gas doesn’t build up inside. Always turn the gas off at the tank when finished. If using a charcoal grill, don’t use an excess of charcoal fluid and don’t spray fluid on hot coals.

“Use common sense,” he says. “In the summer, people like to grill with no shirt on, and grease can splatter. It’s really just being careful.”

Assistant fire chief King said the best way to contain an out-of-control barbecue flare-up is to put a lid on it, contain the fire and let the grease burn off.

One last tip? Allow coals to cool before disposal.

“One common mistake — and we’ll see these fires this summer — happens when people throw charcoal away when it’s still hot,” King says. “It will catch the garbage can on fire. You should wet charcoal down prior to disposing of it.”

©2013 The Dallas Morning News
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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