Staying safe around the grill this Memorial Day weekend

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ/Gray News) Summer is right around the corner and when the sun's out, it's time for cookouts.

Montgomery County's emergency services coordinator, Neal Turner, offered tips on how to stay safe around the grill.

"First of all, take the grill away from the home. Separate, give distance between it and all the way around it," he said. "And never grill inside."

If you have a gas grill, double check, triple check your gas tank. Make sure you turn it completely off after each grilling and that you turn it completely on when in use.

"Open the lid, then light the fire – that way, if there's any build-up of gas, it's not going to create an explosion, blow the top of your grill off."

You also have to keep your grill clean. Keep it inside or covered when you're not using it. And if you're going to have a campfire or bonfire, make sure to keep it away from wooded areas.

"Another safety tip would be to maybe have like 50 feet diameter around your fire pit or bonfire."

He explained that if the fire starts to spread, you'll have time to put it out before it causes bigger problems.

Finally, make sure you're paying attention to the kids and teaching them how to be safe around open flames.

"They're curious about what's going on. What is the fire doing. You know, they'll throw a stick in the fire and all that's cute until they get too close."

You wouldn't forget the ketchup, so don't forget the safety either.

"Always have a concentration on safety first and then everybody goes home," Turner said.

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