Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

gray metal tong and grilled meat with fire

When the warm weather arrives, there is nothing like the smell of food cooking on a grill. But if not operated and maintained properly a grill can lead to burn injuries or become a fire hazard.


  • Use only equipment with a label of a recognized testing laboratory and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set up, operate and maintain your grill.
  • Only use propane, charcoal, and wood pellet grills outside. Using them indoors can lead to a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Grills should be placed well away from anything that can catch fire such as your home, deck railings, eaves, overhanging branches or other combustible materials.
  • Keep children and pets away from grilling area.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended.
  • Keep your grill clean, including the grease tray to avoid it catching fire.
  • Never pour water on a grease fire! Use a fire extinguisher, baking soda or follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions.


Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. You can apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.
If there is a propane leak, it will release bubbles. If you do find a leak and there is no flame, do the following:

  1. Turn off both the gas tank and barbecue.
  2. If leak stops get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  3. If the leak does not stop call the Fire Department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 9-1-1. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out while cooking, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.
  • When finished grilling, make sure the grill is turned off and the burner flames are out. Turn off the valves or gas supply and close the grill’s lid.
  • Never store propane tanks in buildings or garages. If you store a gas barbecue inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.


  • If you use a “charcoal chimney” to start charcoal for cooking, use a long match to avoid burning your fingers when lighting the paper.
  • If you use a starter fluid, only use a charcoal starter fluid that is designed for this application and never add charcoal fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid to get the fire going.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing them into a metal container.

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