With the start of summer just around the corner, many county residents will be firing up their backyard grills for platters of burgers, dogs, ribs and more. But, as Goochland County Fire Marshal Doug Davies warns, carelessness around any kind of grill—from charcoal to gas—can have tragic consequences. Recently, Davies offered several tips to keep grilling from going wrong.

1. It may seem like a no brainer, but never use a grill inside. Also, always make sure to locate grills at least 10 feet away from your home or your porch railing, and keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill at all times.

2. Don’t overload the grill with too much greasy food — doing so can cause dangerous flare-ups.

3. Do not store extra fuel tanks near the grill.

4. Check your grill for leaks by rubbing a mix of soapy water along the hose lines. If you see bubbles, you have a leak and the hose should be replaced.

5. Use only charcoal grill starter on your charcoal grill, and always make sure coals are completely cool before disposing of them.

6. Never, ever, leave a grill unattended.

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