IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Memorial Day is usually the big kick-off to barbeque season. But, as you dust off the grills and turn up the propane, it's worth taking a big step back, and putting safety first.
Flammable liquid or gas is the item first to ignite in 46 percent of the more than 8,000 annual outdoor grill fires in the United States.
Idaho Falls firefighter Colton Campbell was gearing up for a busy Memorial Day weekend at Fire Station No. 1.
"It's a lot easier to get in trouble when you have a lot of people together," said Campbell.
Campbell said where there's a big group, safety measures sometimes get overlooked. If you plan on grilling, keep a close eye on what's fueling your fire.
If you turn the gas knob on and you smell propane that maybe hasn't lit yet, wait a minute, let it clear out and try again.
It's equally important to make sure your grill is a safe distance from your home. If it's next to a vinyl siding house, you want to pull it away to make sure you don't burn your house.
Twenty-eight percent of home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio. Twenty-eight percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch.
Sometimes the good time turns bad, but it doesn't have to.
If a fire does get out of control, the fire department says don't wait to call it. If you're not sure about something, or need more tips before you grill, Idaho Falls Fire can be reached at (208) 612-8211.