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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Fire Department

Barbecue Fire Safety

Safety Tips

  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and branches.  
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.  
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.  
  • Use long-handled grilling tools to have plenty of clearance from heat and flames.  
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • Use the proper starter fluid and store it out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.  
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited.
  • Never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid.

Propane Grills

  • Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles.
  • If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
    • Turn off the propane tank and grill.
    • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
    • If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). OPDs shut off the flow of propane before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. OPDs are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.
  • Use only equipment bearing the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
  • Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.

Remember

Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.