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June is BBQ and Fire Pit Safety Month

By June 8, 2020July 17th, 2024No Comments

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food. Summer is the peak time for grill fires and that’s why this month, the Office of the Fire Commissioner is focused on BBQ and fire pit safety.

Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet or 1 meter away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal BBQ

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspapers as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container.

Propane BBQ

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.
  • A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or by soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas 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 gets away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it. A simple test for checking gas grill leaks


Fire-pits and Outdoor Burning


  • Get a permit from your local municipality before starting any open-air, recreational, outdoor cooking fire, or agricultural burning. It’s important to remember, you might not be permitted to do outdoor burning in some municipalities and during some seasons.
  • Follow the rules, as outlined by your permit.
  • Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is out before leaving.
  • Supervise children around any fire outdoors, including campfires, fire-pits, chimneys, and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Permitted open fires, such as bonfires or trash fires, need to be at least 50 feet (15 meters) from anything that can burn.
  • Permitted recreational fires such as campfires, need to be at least 25 feet (8 meters) away from anything that can burn.
  • Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
  • Where outdoor burning is allowed, never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids.
  • When burning, have a hose, a bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.