OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Fire officials say whether you use charcoal or a gas grill, it’s important to keep safety top of mind, even long after your meal is finished.
“It’s a great time to get out, start enjoying the weather but there’s also some things that we have to remind ourselves of as we enter this time of year,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
He is urging caution after smoke alarms rang out in a northwest Oklahoma City home at 2 a.m., saving a family of six from a fire.
“It started because hot coals, we believe, were discarded in a trash can and we actually see that multiple times each year,” Fulkerson said.
He says many people misjudge the coals before they dispose of them, thinking they’re fully cool when they could still start a fire.
“It can take many hours before you get to where you can do something with them and at that point, you need to put them in a sealed metal container before just dumping them in the trash can,” said Fulkerson.
He adds that it’s important to use all grills outdoors.
“We see people use them inside their garages sometimes. That’s not a safe thing to do,” said Fulkerson.
He urges you to stay away from your home or other hazards while doing so.
“Well away from wooden decks and rails of wooden decks,” said Fulkerson.
While the family deals with more than $100,000 in damages, they and firefighters are thankful no one was hurt.
“This was at two o’clock in the morning, when people are really good and asleep and without that early notification from this smoke alarm, this could have ended a lot differently,” said Fulkerson.
Firefighters say you should have smoke alarms inside and outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
Oklahoma City firefighters will install smoke alarms for free.
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