Partners in Protection: Safety Tips on Barbecuing

By Compiled by Robert Cross, Fire Prevention Office assistant chief, Fire & Emergency Services DLA Installation Support at Richmond

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It’s that time of the year when we pull out the grills, whether it is charcoal or gas, and start barbecuing.  July is a peak month for grill fires. Here are some tips on a good safe barbecuing.

Before grilling with your gas grill, check all components attached to your gas supply by using light soap and water on all connections to ensure no leaks are present. If you see bubbles coming from any area you have sprayed, immediately turn off the gas. Ensure all connections are tight. If you are still having operational problems with your grill, call a representative from the company you bought the grill from or a representative from a gas company.

Additional tips include:                                                                                                                     

1.  Read the owner’s manual.

2.  Grills are for outside use only.                                                         

3 . Use grills in a well ventilated area.

4.  Keep grill stable.

5.  Use long handle utensils.

6.  Wear safe clothing. (nothing with tails or frills)

7.  Keep fire under control. (watch for flare-ups)

8.  Be ready to extinguish flames with baking soda, sand, or a fire extinguisher. Always ensure good extinguishment of the charcoal by saturating with water until there are no hot embers.

9.  Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath the grill.

10. Never leave the grill unattended.

11.  Keep children and others away from the grill while preheating, cooking, or during cool down to ensure no one gets burned.

12.  If using electrically-powered accessories, like a rotisserie, be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local code.

13.  Prior to lighting a gas grill, be sure to open the lid to prevent a buildup of gas.

14.  Be sure the grill is placed away from your house or any other combustibles.


If at any time you feel unsafe or your grill has gotten out of control while grilling, call 911 for your local fire department to respond.

More safety facts can be found at: Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association - General Grilling Safety and NFPA – Grilling Safety

Have an enjoyable and safe grilling season!