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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

July 4th Grilling Safety

UNDATED -- Many of us are going to be grilling out on this long holiday weekend. But a fun family gathering can easily go up in smoke if you're not careful. We found out the three things you need to know before you fire up the grill this July 4th weekend.

Propane grills can be dangerous because even a small leak can cause an explosion. An easy way to check for a leak is to put soapy water on the hose, and connections. If it bubbles, you have a leak. No bubbles mean you're clear to turn up the heat.

"A lot of people grill out and have fun. It's going to be great weather tomorrow so it's going to be a great July 4th," said Jeff Knab of Fairfield.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 8,200 grill fires every year, resulting in nearly $75 million in damage.

"Once it heats up to about 400-500 degrees, I start cleaning the stuff off the grill," said Home Depot Grill Master Jeff Kramer.

Kramer says grease, overflowing drip pans, and food particles on the rack are primary fire culprits.

"Everything catches on fire at once and it's just out of control. So if you don't clean your grill that's a possibility that'll happen as well," he said. "If you look in here and you have an abundance of food, grease, you need to get in there with a putty knife and try to clean those walls out the best you can."

Firefighters also recommend keeping your grill 10 feet away from combustible materials like siding on your home or wood patios. Also, always shut off the propane tank when you're done and never leave a grill unattended.

"Whenever you turn it on, stay close to it. If you want to go into the kitchen really quick that's fine. But don't get your mind on something else and come back 30 minutes later and it's really hot," said Washington Twp. Fire Marshal Michael Long.

If your grill does catch fire, firefighters say turn off the gas on propane grills, close the lid if possible and step away. If the fire is out of control, call 911.

 
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