Outdoor Grilling Fire Safety Tips

Now that the winter months are behind us, it's time for some fun summer barbecues with family and friends! But it is important to take precautions when grilling outside. Always keep summer fire safety in mind, especially when children are near the grill.

The following are a few outdoor grilling fire safety tips:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. 
  • Position the grill well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging 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.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.


  • Purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.


  • Check the gas 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 determine your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, the grill should be serviced by a professional before using it. If the leak does not stop, contact the Fire Department.
  • If you happen to smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the Fire Department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.