Get out the grill: How to cook up hot dogs without burning down the house

As the weather warms here in Alaska the grills are coming out of storage, what you need to remember to make sure you cook your hot dog not your house.
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 2:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As warmer temperatures roll in and snow melts away, Alaskans across the state are beginning to sharpen knives and clean spatulas for one of America’s greatest pastimes — grilling.

In fact, the National Fire Protection Association said seven in 10 adults in the nation own a grill or smoker. However, before deciding to light up that grill that’s been dormant underneath a bed of snow for months, take a look at some quick, easy tips to stay safe.

If an individual plans to start up a propane grill for the first time this year, make sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks. For a charcoal grill, the association suggests using only charcoal starter fluid instead of others.

People should also keep grilling appliances away from the home, deck railing and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Most importantly, never leave the grill unattended when cooking.

A full list of tips and advice can be found in the association’s safety tips sheet.

If, for some reason, cooking hot dogs and burgers turns into an unchoreographed Polynesian fire luau, remember the Anchorage Fire Department’s advice.

“There’s a couple things you can do, having a spray bottle with water right next to your grill is handy. If you have a small flair up you can put a little bit of water on it or simply shut the gas off to it,” said Patrick Barnes, an acting captain for the fire department. “It’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby. However, if you’re not really trained to use the fire extinguisher, we don’t want you to spend the time to figure out how to use it. Just call 911 right away and we’ll come help you out.”

Follow these simple rules and use a bit of common sense this summer to ensure the biggest neighborhood controversy is “who’s short ribs taste best?” and not “who burnt my rib cage?”

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