Lubbock Fire Rescue shares reminders for summer cookouts

Man barbequing
Man barbequing(KCBD)
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As the rain subsides from the South Plains, many are gearing up for some outdoor summer grilling. Lubbock Fire Rescue shared some reminders about the importance of keeping an eye on those open flames to stay safe.

Putting those fire pits to use for some grilled hotdogs and burgers is a summer staple for many. However, Derek Delgado with Lubbock Fire Rescue says, without fail, every summer those harmless cookouts lead to fires.

“If you are going to use a grill, you want to make sure you do not have it near a structure,” Delgado said. “We probably suggest around 10 to 20 feet away from any structure.”

The average barbeque grill can reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees. Delgado says the flame is not the only worry.

“Make sure you are not under any sort of tree or a branch that could possibly catch on fire; it is not only the embers of that fire that could catch it, but just the mere radiant heat that could also cause a fire to start,” said Delgado.

Even after the fire dies out, burning charcoal can take days to cool down.

“There has been a high influx of dumpster fires in the past,” Delgado stated. “In the event you are going to use charcoal, what we suggest is you keep it in that barbecue pit or some type of container that is noncombustible like a metal bucket.”

Delgado says a common misconception LFR has been battling lately is many people think the heavy rainfall will stop fires from starting.

“Fire will find a way to find something combustible, it just needs to be a little bit dry and that’s where a fire can start. Just because we had a lot of rain doesn’t mean a fire won’t start.”

Delgado says having a water hose on hand, a fire extinguisher and your phone to dial 911 could save you from a backyard blaze.