From the Firehouse
by Jack Halchak Past Chief HFD
The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking to recruit new members. You can stop in on any Monday evening at 7 p.m. to get an application or to see what we are all about. If you do not want to fight fire, we can use fire police, or you can work behind the scenes and support the front-line firefighters. We do more than just fight fire. We even provide all your training and gear for free.
The BURN BAN is set to expire on May 14. With the weather that we have had since the BURN BAN started back in March there have been very few brush fires. Two days of nice weather then three days of rain or even snow. Everything is starting to green up and reduce the risk of brush fires. A few departments went out to illegal burns. Residents did start a pile of brush on fire, but it was reported and put out before it became a problem. There were a few small brush fires caused by electric wires being taken down by the high winds that we have had in recent weeks. It looks like we had a safe brush fire season.
With nice weather coming (I hope) many of you are getting the BBQ grills out for the season. Now would be a good time to clean them and make sure everything is in working order.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
Here are some other grilling safety tips:
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and from the trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
• There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
• If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
• Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
I have been on a few calls in years past where a homeowner painted the propane tank to match the
color of the house. I have seen some painted black. Don’t!
Propane tanks are painted a white/off white color or silver color to reflect the summer heat. If it
is painted black or another dark color, it absorbs the heat. Do not paint your tank.
Inside your propane tank is liquid propane under pressure. If it gets hot from absorbing the summer heat instead of reflecting it, the liquid will turn into a gas and create more pressure. Your tank has a safety release valve to relieve the excess pressure. Propane as a gas will be released as a safety precaution. This could be dangerous if the gas finds an ignition source.
Always store your propane tank in an upright position and always outside.
Happy grilling. Be Safe Out There.