Casper residents are being urged by fire officials to be safer around outdoor grills and barbecues after Casper Fire-EMS firefighters had to respond to four outdoor grill fires over the last week and a half.

Casper Fire-EMS public information officer Jason Parks says safe grilling always starts with a clean grill.

“Take it to the curb, hose it down, use a degreaser, and also check your grease traps and clean all of that stuff out,” Parks said. “Another thing to make sure of is to check is your propane bottles – we've have some instances of some leaky propane tanks.”

Parks also says common sense should be used when setting up the grill.

“Keep it away from any structures – we recommend 18 to 24 inches away from anything,” Parks said. “And keep it on concrete paths – don’t be grilling with grass underneath you.”

Parks says Casper Fire-EMS responded to about a dozen outdoor grill fires last year.