BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's time to fire up the grill for Independence Day celebrations.
But, before you fire up the grill there are some safety tips.
Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker offers up several suggestions to make your Fourth of July outing is fun and safe.
For starters, he says it's a good idea to read and understand your grill's manual to know just how everything works.
When lighting the grill, make sure you are a safe distance away to avoid combustibles like lighter fluid.
"You want to make sure that you're not close to any combustibles and that the fire itself cannot escape from the grill," said Walker.
Where the grill sits is also important.
"One of the things that you want to do on location with a gas or charcoal grill is grill on a balcony if you live in an apartment because of the floors above. And, you never want to grill in the carport. Because, that smoke needs to escape," he explained.
Smoke has carbon monoxide, and if inhaled long enough it can be deadly.
You also need to watch how you cook the meat on the grill.
A safe temperature for cooking most meats is 160 degrees, according to Lee County Extension Agent Belvia Giachelli.
She adds that chicken needs to be cooked very well just as pork.
Beef and steaks need to be at least medium to well-done.
A meat thermometer will come in very handy to check temperatures.
"Make sure that your meat remains at a certain temperature. Make sure you cook meat to a certain temperature. Make sure your grill is very clean," said Giachelli.
In fact, she says a lot of cases of salmonella are the result of dirty grills.
For more safety tips online go to fsis.usda.gov