Grilling with the Fire Commissioner


>>MICK: Welcome here to Jack’s Firehouse.
My name is Mick Houston, I’m the owner, and we’re here with Grilling with the Fire
Commissioner and it’s my absolute pleasure to once again welcome Fire Commissioner Lloyd
Ayers here to help everybody learn about fire safety here as we get into the Labor Day weekend.
So, great to have you here again, Commissioner.>>COMMISSIONER: Well I tell you, my tag team
partner, Jack. Jack’s Firehouse is where it’s all at, and Mick Houston, he’s been here nine
years making sure that our citizens get the education and the information that they need
so that they can grill safely all summer long, and no matter what it is, it’s a little cloudy
today, but I tell you, that grill smells wonderful. So let’s dive in. Mick, what do we have over
here?>>MICK: Let me tell you, you know, the key
thing about grilling, especially this time of year, is always being safe and being prepared
for what you have going on. Everybody loves grilling this time of year.
I mean to go out, nothing tastes better, you know, when you have family around, than getting
on the grill and cooking things up. But the couple things that you have to make
sure you’re prepared with ahead of time is you’re making sure that you take the time
to get things set up so you’re not going to get yourself in a situation where there’s
a fire hazard. So what I always want to do is make sure I
give myself enough time to make sure I need to do the things that I have to do before
we start grilling. So, key things. We always have some long-handled
equipment here so that you’re never putting your hands or your arms over the grill. You
always have your clothing set up so it’s not loose-fitting, so you’re not putting any kind
of part of your body at risk. You’re always keeping the kids away from the
grill, because you don’t want them there, you know, they’re always interested in jumping
in and helping out, but the grilling is just an adult job. It’s not something that you
want the kids doing. And then, you know what, if you’re not really
taking your time and getting yourself set up on a gas grill, and I’ll talk about charcoal
in a minute because that’s what we like using here at Jack’s, but if you’re not taking the
time to set up on a gas grill the right way, you could have a catastrophic event like this,
and we don’t ever want things like that happening.>>COMMISSIONER: Well we’ve gotten it a lot
more safer now. Since 2002, we’ve gotten rid of these old valves.
If you look and you can see the circular valve, that represents the old ones, much like this.
Today, we have to have the three-pronged valve, because that represents that you have the
automatic overflow protection control inside of this.
It’ll stop, help stop leaks, anything that’s going to happen if it’s not connected properly,
and also, you won’t be able to overfill it, that’s a very important feature, so it’s a
very important thing. If you have this, you can exchange it out,
all you have to do is go to the refill station, they’ll take this, discard it, and you can
purchase a brand new one when you get your new gas.
>>MICK: Yeah, I can’t emphasize enough how great Lowe’s is as a partner, making sure
that they have the proper safety equipment that people need to grill safely over the
summertime here and especially as we get into Labor Day.
The other thing to make sure you’re doing is when you’re setting your gas up, and you’re
setting up your gas grill, you need to make sure that this connection is really tight.
You need to also make sure that you don’t have any debris. A lot of times you’ll go
the whole summer, maybe you start cooking in the beginning of the summer, you don’t
get back to it ’til the end of the summer. You want to make sure that that connection
is clear of debris and cleansed out, you want to make sure that its tightly attached to
the uh, the uh, regulator, and then we often use a little bit of soapy water just here
on the end when it’s all situated and set up just to make sure that there’s no leaks,
because the last thing you want to do is to be grilling, not minding any business other
than, you know, taking care of things, and then suddenly you find yourself with a gas
leak. No good at all. And then I’m going to get things started on
the charcoal grill, but Commissioner, why don’t you tell us about that connection again?
>>COMMISSIONER: Well, with this connection, sometimes if you don’t have a brand new one,
like from our sponsor, you’ll have one that you stored away.
You just want to chase the bugs and things out that might have nested in here so when
you make that connection that Mick just talked about, it’s absolutely clear. So you can see,
this is the perfect place for spiders or anything else to crawl up in and just nest for the
winter. So make sure that it’s all clean, so that
you can have a nice, tight connection, and remember, use the soap and water to test every
connection on your grill before you get started. Mick, how about that charcoal?
>>MICK: You know what Commissioner, there is nothing we like better at Jack’s Firehouse than grilling
in charcoal. Jack, for years, has been the biggest proponent
that I know as far as using charcoal for grilling, it gives it flavor, it gives it subtlety,
that meat, and fish, and vegetables they don’t get from a gas grill. So we love using charcoal.
You have seen this before a lot of times, this is lighter fluid. We don’t like using
lighter fluid here, lighter fluid works fine, but it’s a question of being safe. So if you
want to be safe when using the lighter fluid, just be very careful in using it.
We like using the chimney. Chimneys, this costs maybe twenty bucks at Lowe’s about five
years ago. We use it six or seven times a month over the summertime here. It is as simple
as putting the charcoal in on top, you get to the bottom, you’re going to light the newspaper
on the bottom, and make sure the newspaper is spread out
and it’s not all clumped into one big roll. You set that back in your grill,
safe and sound, twenty minutes from now, you’ll have charcoal perfectly ready to use. People
don’t realize how good of a system this chimney is and being safe while you’re grilling.
So in twenty minutes, that’ll be a terrific, well-lit charcoal without using any kind of
fluid at all, and you’ll have yourself set up for grilling the safe way.
>>COMMISSIONER: One thing to add, Mick: ditto. That’s my favorite. Charcoal, that’s all I
use.>>MICK: Again, the other thing is make sure
you’re setting your grill up ahead of time so that it has plenty of space around it. You
should be setting it up where it’s nice and level, so there’s not a big wiggle like there
is there. You want to make sure that you’re setting
it up downwind so that you’re able to control some of the heat by just simply closing the
lid if you get yourself in a situation where the fire is too intense.
Again, these are things that happen to you when you’re grilling, that you don’t expect
them to happen right off the bat, but you have to be prepared for it, you have to have
a plan, and you always have to have this standing by closely.
>>COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. Adult activity. Grilling is an adult activity,
whether it’s gas, charcoal, whatever the case, make sure that you also keep the pets away.
They’re going to be curious, if they get close they can knock it over, they could injure
themselves. Remember, little children, this gets very
hot. If they touch it one time, they’ll burn. So children, away, pets, away.
>>MICK: That’s it. An adult activity, again, it’s fun for the whole family to be around,
but you have to keep their distances. Umm, why don’t we step on back over here and
I’m going to go back to the big grill now that we’ve got cooking and I’m just going
to show you some, some other pieces that are important as far as grilling goes.
Again, I have long-handled utensils. It is hot over that grill, you don’t realize how
hot it’s going to get once you get more grease and more food juices out onto that.
So we have some really nice ribs that we serve here at Jack’s Firehouse, we’ve got the fish
going, we’ve got the smoked chicken, again, and even the vegetables will go over there.
But again the key is to be safe. Just keep your distance from the heat, you keep the
food spread around the outside perimeter. There’s no reason to ever have to feel like
you have to cook over the middle of the coals, that’s the most dangerous, the most intense
part of the heat. So again, you can take your time, do it Jack’s
Firehouse style, get yourself some nice ribs going. Get some of the tomatoes down on the
grill, then I’ll put some fish down there as well because I know the commissioner, and
he’s a fish man.>>COMMISSIONER: Absolutely.
Now what was that secret sprinkle that you put on there?
Ah, I’m sorry!>>MICK: That’s going to stay that way!
But again, keeping yourself safe, keeping your food to the perimeter, and cooking and
keeping an eye on it and keeping the kids away, all these key things to grilling safely
over the summertime.>>COMMISSIONER: Absolutely, so uhh remember,
people will grill on into the autumn, a lot of backyard parties and all of those types
of things, and we want our folks to remember, have a lot of fun, but also remember, you
can grill on porches and decks if it’s one or two story families, right? One or two story
home. But if it’s an apartment, or anything like that, decks, balconies, porches, no grilling.
It’s the law, you can’t grill.>>MICK: And again, we don’t want anybody
to get themselves into a situation where they’re going to put themselves or their neighbors
at risk. Umm, and that’s, you know that’s something that a lot of people in town don’t
even realize. If you have a balcony that’s above a second story, there’s no grilling
allowed on that balcony. So don’t do it. Umm and then what uhh, what was the uhh, you
know the situation as far as the umm, grilling, umm
>>COMMISSIONER: Distance? Ok, yeah, distance from anything combustible
you want to make sure is ten feet. Okay? And with the charcoal, remember, you
can’t grill with charcoal in an enclosed area because it emits carbon monoxide. It’s a silent
fume and we have to remember that of all of the fires that we had, of all of the carbon
monoxide incidents that we had in 2012 nationally, umm carbon monoxide is a very dangerous one
and we want to make sure that people stay away.
But, with the structure fires, of the structure fires that we had, 81 percent of them was
from propane gas, okay? So just make sure that you stay away from the combustibles and
make sure that you don’t grill in an enclosed area with charcoal.
>>MICK: And yeah, the other key thing is if you’re finished with your charcoal is properly
disposing it. You can’t just leave the coals out there to
wind down on themselves. They may last in that grill for days. So make sure you properly
take the time, they need to go into a metal container, they need to have some moisture
on it, you need to be careful about it, you need to keep the kids away while you’re doing
it. Again, something that is key in making sure that you start safe, you finish safe.
>>COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. Don’t put it in the trash, you dump a whole gallon all
over that uhh, charcoal, if it’s still burning, and then later on you know that it’s safe
to dispose of them in the trash.>>MICK: Well, Fire Commissioner, again I
think uhh all of these terrific safety tips come out whenever we’re out talking about
this stuff, I hope the people get a chance to come down and have some nice food at Jack’s
Firehouse if you’re not grilling yourself this weekend. Fire Commissioner, pleasure
as always to have you down here, and I hope everybody stays safe and you don’t get too
many calls.>>COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. Bon appetit!

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