FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 26, 2016



TRENTON – As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the DCA’s Division of Fire Safety and the State Fire Marshal and the Department of Health are reminding residents to stay healthy this summer by grilling safely, protecting yourself against mosquitoes and wearing sunscreen while outdoors.

The Memorial Holiday weekend followed by the July 4 celebration, typically mean taking the cover off the family barbecue grill for the traditional cuisine associated with both holidays, including hotdogs and hamburgers and other grill-prepared foods.

However, caution should be exercised both before and during these holidays and the rest of the summer barbecuing season.

“We would like to remind everyone that propane containers especially, require special care, and that includes not only around the grill but the transport of the canister from the filling station or exchange depot,” said William Kramer, Jr., Acting Director and State Fire Marshal.

While enjoying the beach and the outdoors, Acting New Jersey Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett also reminds residents to protect yourself against mosquitoes and the sun while outdoors.

“Enjoy the sun and the water this summer at New Jersey's beaches, lakes and other outdoor recreational areas, but take measures to protect yourself by wearing sunscreen, a wide-brim hat and sunglasses," said Bennett. "Drink plenty of water, swim only in protected areas and follow safety rules in pools, lakes and the ocean."

Sun Safety/Excessive Heat

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
  • When possible, limit strenuous outdoor activity when temperatures are high
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing
  • If you do not have air conditioning in your home, take advantage of air-conditioned public places such as libraries, movies, malls and bowling alleys
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbors during periods of high temperatures to see if they need help.

Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites

  • Use insect repellent with DEET when outdoors
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants, when possible
  • Use mosquito netting on infant carriers and strollers while outdoors
  • Drain standing water on your property

Transporting the Propane Cylinder

  • Check to make sure your cylinder has a sealed plastic cap on the valve and that the valve is closed tight before transporting.
  • Secure the cylinder in your vehicle. It should be placed on the rear seat of an automobile and secured in such a way that it will not roll around in the car’s interior. NEVER place it in the trunk. First, it could rupture if you are involved in a rear end collision. More importantly, should an accident occur, first responders might be jeopardized by being unaware of its presence in your vehicle.
  • Limit the number to two cylinders transported at one time in your vehicle.

About Your Propane Fuel Grill

  • Read the manual or look it up on the internet for usage guidelines.
  • Always check for leaks. Fill a spray bottle with soapy water and spray all the threaded connections. Bubbles will appear if you have a leak in any of them.
  • DO NOT attempt to light the grill until you have checked all connections and verified they are leak free.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby permanently dedicated to the grill.
  • If a grill flares up, first deny the fire oxygen by closing the cover, and then shut off the gas. Use the extinguisher on any remaining flame.
  • Turn off the supply valve after you turn off the burner valves when completed. It may be inconvenient but a closed supply valve prevents the unexpected.
  • Always use the cylinder in an upright position. A gas grill is designed to burn gas. On its side, the propane collects as a liquid and it can leak.
  • NEVER use a grill inside or even under an open porch, alcove, or garage. Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of burning and in confined spaces. It can kill you.
  • Keep extra tanks away from the grill and store outside, away from any structure.
  • Maintain and take care of your grill. Clean it regularly during the season and protect it from the weather and rusting by using a high quality grill cover.

Kramer states that charcoal grills require similar use cautions. However, problems usually occur when large amounts of charcoal grill fluid are used and the grill is too close to a structure on the property.

Many smaller grills, also known as hibachis, may encourage beliefs that they do not require the same level of scrutiny that Kramer notes can lead to serious consequences.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs.

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Tammori Petty
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055

Department of Health
(609) 984-7160