Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - It’s now summer grilling season, and the firefighting professionals at Missoula Rural Fire have all the tips to help you safely use your propane, charcoal, or electric outdoor grills.

I spoke with Rural Fire Battalion Chief Ron Lubke who began with the most obvious advice, to grill outdoors, and to keep the grill clear from anything flammable.

Battalion Chief Ron Lubke has Tips on Grilling Safely Outdoors

“They definitely want to keep their grills away from their house, or away from a building,” began Chief Lubke. “Be careful if they're out on a wooden deck, or balcony, or something like that, and away from overhangs. A lot of times, if you were to have a fire in your grill, the heat and the flames can reach up and ignite something above it. So we want to make sure folks are doing that.”

Lubke said cleanliness is a great virtue when it comes to grilling outdoors.

“Definitely keep your grill clean,” he said. “A lot of people think about the grates where you set the food, keeping those clean, but they don't think about the grease and the fat and the things that drip down into the barbecue or the grill. Those can build up over time, and those can ignite, and eventually, they can be significant when those do catch fire.”

If a Fire Poses a Threat to the Propane Tank call 9-1-1 Immediately

Lubke said if a fire poses a threat to the propane tank itself, call 9-1-1 immediately and let the fire department handle the situation.

“Certainly, if you do have a fire that's impinging on the tank, in that case, we just want folks to evacuate the area, get away from that tank and call 911, and get the fire department right away, because the heat from that fire on the tank could cause it to rupture and cause an explosion,” he said.

READ MORE: 7 Awful Grilling Habits You Need to Stop Before Your Next Cookout

Guard Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning by Always Grilling Outside

Lubke closed with a bit of common sense advice about grilling.

“One of the most common injuries we see related to barbecues is the when the grease and the grill ignites, and it's burning the food, and people try to save their food,” he said. “They try to get in there, to get it off, and they end up with burnt hands or eyebrows in the end. We want to encourage folks that if something's going on like that, just close the lid and get away from it, and if you think it's becoming a problem, call 911, and we will come out and give you a hand with it.”

According to an MRFD press release; “Due to carbon monoxide production, no grills should ever be used inside homes, vehicles, tents, or campers, even if ventilation is provided. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and you will not be alerted to the danger until it is too late.”

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Gallery Credit: KC

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