WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Would you rather have a burger cooked in a pan or on a grill outside?

Exactly—and that’s why outdoor barbecues mean summer to so many people.

But it doesn’t come without some safety cautions…and when they’re not followed, a fun outdoor meal becomes a fire hazard as quickly as the flame catches.

“There are 20,000 injuries a year with grilling out. And there are over 10,000 fires that are started with outdoor grills.”

Deric Jamison, Assistant Chief, Wheeling Fire Department

After dragging the grill outside of the garage and 10 feet away from your house, the first thing to test are the propane hoses and fittings.

Spray soapy water along the connections and the hose, and if bubbles form, it’s time to replace them.

Pick a spot that’s not under an upper deck or a roof, and watch for grease and fat buildup in the trays under the grill.

“If your grill does catch on fire, close the lid, shut off the fuel, call 911.”

Deric Jamison, Assistant Chief, Wheeling Fire Department

But charcoal grill owners have a few precautions before enjoying some smoky shrimp.

Chief Jamison says to only use charcoal lighting fluid and not other flammable substances, and to not add anything flammable while it’s already burning.

Once the embers are completely cool, put them in a metal container and not in any other kind of trash can.

And with either kind of grill—keep it somewhere kids and pets won’t accidentally bump into it.

“It’s the same rules with your grill outside as it is for your kitchen.”

Deric Jamison, Assistant Chief, Wheeling Fire Department

With these simple checks, and a long-handled spatula, you’ll be well on your way to turning a few slabs of raw chicken into a kebab to remember.

You may need to have your cylinder refilled after a long summer of grilling last year.

In that case, make sure the supplier looks for rust and leaks and keep the car windows open when you’re bringing it home.