PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now that grilling season is here, the Philadelphia Fire Department is asking you to play it safe.

Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers says grill fires are the #1 type of fires his department sees in the month of July.

“This is an adult activity — no children allowed,” he warns.   For propane grills, he says, you’ll want to make sure you have no leaks.

“We use soapy water.  And what soapy water does, when we wipe it over the connection, is you’ll see bubbles if there’s a leak.  If there’s a leak and you see the bubbles, stop, redo the whole process, and then more soapy water to ensure no bubbles.  That means you’ve got a great connection.”

At a demonstration today outside Jack’s Firehouse restaurant in Fairmount, the fire commissioner said that when you pull out that grill for the season, make sure it’s clean before you fire it up.

“One of the things you want to do is you check all the hose lines to make sure that you haven’t had any creatures — spiders, bees, wasps — making different types of nests in your grills, because they like to hide in there,” he says.

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grilling fire safety hadas Philadelphia Fire Department Issues Its Annual Warning For Grilling Safety

(Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers conducts a demonstration of grilling fire safety at Jack's Firehouse Restaurant, assisted by owner Mick Houston.)

Ayers says to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and don’t have a lot of other items near you while grilling.

“The #1 grilling mistake that leads to fires and injuries in the country, not just Philadelphia, is having the grill too close to combustibles.”

He adds to always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060

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