Although the recent weather makes it feel like it’s still late winter, hopefully spring temperatures will be here any day now, allowing residents to start spending more time outdoors. Many have been cleaning out sheds and garages in preparation for the summer. As you clean you may come across chemicals, paints, etc that have been stored and are potentially dangerous for the environment. Follow directions on the containers for proper disposal and refer to the Town of Hempstead’s website (www.TOH.LI) for Stop Throwing Out Pollutant (S.T.O.P.) days that are scheduled throughout the spring and summer.
Another area of concern is barbecue safety. Below are some tips to follow before and while grilling that will help keep you safe. Additional safety tips can be found by visiting the Wantagh Fire Department’s website at www.WantaghFD.com.
• Always follow manufacturers guidelines regarding the care, storag
e and use of all grills.
• Thoroughly clean the grill of all grease and fat buildup in the grill area and “drip trays” beneath the grilling surface.
• Check major connections between the hose connections between the propane tank, regulator and grill are in good condition, free from cra
cks, are secure (tighten if necessary).
• Make a solution of soap and water and apply with a spray bottle or brush around all gas fittings/hoses to check for leaks. With the propane tank on, the soap/water solution will release bubbles around the hose. If there are leaks (and all connections are tight) shut the tank and have the grill serviced by a professional grill repairman.
• If the tank continues to leak, call the Fire Department immediately.
• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and not under an overhang or porch. Grills should also never be used on a deck and at least 10 feet away from a combustible structure, ie: house, shed, garage.
• The grill should be placed on a flat, solid, non-combustible surface.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Always ignite the grill with the lid open.
• As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
• If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
• There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
• If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
• Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.