Experts offer grilling safety tips

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and it means lots of folks across Southwest Louisiana will be firing up the grill to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

But experts urge residents practice safe grilling.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 7,700 home fires involving grills every year. Most of the fires occur during July. More than half the fires originated on a patio, balcony or porch.

The National Fire Protection Association offered the following tips:

- Grills should only be used outdoors

- The grill should be kept away from anything combustible (including deck railings and overhanging branches)

- Keep children and pets away from the grill area

- Keep grill clean

- Never leave your grill unattended

For more information on grilling safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association's website.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.