Fire Safety Tips for Backyard Barbecues

Local fire officials are warning residents to take care when using the grill. There are some simple tips to prevent an out of control grill fire.

It's obvious that many folks around here aren't aware of the city's fire code against grills on balconies.

"You can't put them on a balcony period. The only time you can use a grill is at a residential place or the building needs a sprinkling system."

Another part of that code includes having to move grills at least 20 feet away from buildings.

"There combustible structures and with the fire potentially flaming up and using such ordinary combustible units the whole building could easily burn down."

Now fire officials say out-of-control grill fires aren't as big of a problem here as they are in surrounding communities. They say this is because they have such a strong fire prevention program.

Fire officials point out the most effective method of fire prevention is often times disregarded.

"When people leave things unattended, what will happen will happen. What can happen will happen. We can not leave the grill unattended. Make sure you have someone there attending, and don't walk away cause all it takes is a few seconds to have a major fire."

Firefighters say that by following these simple steps residents can successfully prevent a devastating fire. The U.S. Fire Administration says nearly one third of residential grill fires start on a terrace, patio or balcony. Grill fires are responsible for about $28 million in property loss.