Grilling Safety for the Summer

  • Published
  • By Joshua Leming
  • 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Fire departments respond to about 7,900 fires involving grilling accidents annually. June and July are the peak months of these grilling fires. 

These fires are primarily caused by grilling under overhangs such as balconies or garages. Make sure to check safety features such as gas leaks from propane hoses and keep lighter fluid away from the grill when cooking.

Safety Tips 

· Propane and charcoal Barbeque 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 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.

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 charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
· Keep charcoal fluid out of the 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 in a metal container. 

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 the 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 get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Barbecue grills must be positioned at least 15 feet from any structure when in use. Under no condition will barbecue grills be allowed on the landings or walkways of the outside walkway style dormitories. Open flame units such as deep fat turkey fryers shall be kept a minimum of 25 feet from all structures and building overhangs when in use.

For additional information on fire safety, call or visit your base fire prevention office. Our office telephone numbers are 676-1073, 676-2104 and 676-5735.