Grill With Safety This Summer

There's nothing like outdoor grilling. It's one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries.

July is the peak month for grill fires and the Cosumnes Fire Department would like to offer these tips for safer grilling.
An appetizing assortment of veggies and meat sizzle on a charcoal grill.

Grilling Safety Tips

  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet 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.
  • 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.

Charcoal Grills

  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. 
  • Keep starter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electrical charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord designed for outdoor use.
  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane Grills

  • 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 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.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.