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The original item was published from 5/26/2017 12:47:00 PM to 5/26/2017 12:48:26 PM.

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Posted on: May 26, 2017

[ARCHIVED] How to Stay Safe When Grilling

LCFR grill fire
For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer or 571-233-1649

For Immediate Release:
How to Stay Safe When Grilling

Fire in the inside of the BBQ grill is a welcome sight at the family cookout but fire anywhere else can make your summer barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. Follow these tips to stay safe during grilling season: 

Safety Tips 
  • Only use propane & charcoal BBQ grills outdoors. 
  • Keep grills at least 15 feet away from any structure and away from flammable materials. 
  • Regularly clean grease or fat buildup from the grill and grease trap. 
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area. 
  • Grills can remain hot for long periods of time after being shut off.
  • It is unlawful to operate an open flame grill, hibachi, gas grill, manufactured fireplace or portable fire pit, etc. within 15 feet of any apartment building, condominium, commercial business, health care facility, or housing for the aged or physically and/or mentally impaired. 
Charcoal Grills
  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use.  Charcoal chimney starters >allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel. 
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add any flammable liquids to the fire. 
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 
  • Soak charcoal briquettes and ashes with water and always let ashes cool before disposing of them into a closed metal container.  The metal container should be kept outside, a safe distance away from your home or any other structures.

Propane Grills
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it each year.  Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. If a propane leak is present, it will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, obvious by the odor or the soapy bubble test, but 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 get away from the grill and call the fire department. 
  • Store a propane cylinder in a detached shed away from the home. Never store propane cylinders indoors or in enclosed areas, e.g. basement, garage, tent, etc.
For additional fire prevention information visit or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.

The fire pictured above occurred when a hot grill was placed too close to the side of the home. Siding is highly combustible and this incident alone caused $400,000 in damages.

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