ALBANY, GA (WALB) -Millions of people are grilling out this weekend, but before you fire up the burner, you might want to remember some important safety tips.
Albany Fire Department officials say they receive a lot of calls from people who don't take the right precautions when grilling out. Something as simple as putting water on your coals when you're done can prevent a disaster.
Major Davis and his family are one of several families cooking out this Fourth of July weekend. Kids and adults are celebrating a family reunion, while mixing in some burgers, ribs, chicken and more. Davis has the operation under control.
"I don't consider myself an expert. I just do it for the family," said Davis
He also keeps safety in the back of his mind. He's created a barrier with the tables to keep the kids playing nearby safe.
"It's for our safety because when I'm grilling, I don't have time to watch them so I make sure the parents keep them out," said Davis.
Albany Firefighter Eric Graham says it's important to clean your grill before you light it up, you don't want lighter fluid coming in to contact with anything flammable.
"I you're cooking and it flames up, close it like this and it cuts off some of the oxygen to the fire," said Graham.
Once you finish he says to let the coal cool. Don't throw it in the trash can. Graham says he's had to put out dumpster fires, grass fires, and even patio fires.
"By the time we're done the coal should be cool but if it's not we're put water on it to make sure there's no fire hazard," Davis added.
Firefighters say it's best not to cook in a truck shed especially if you're using a gas grill. They say always cook in a well ventilated area.
The National Fire Protection Association reports in 2007 nearly 19,000 people were sent to the hospital after suffering from grill-related injuries.