Grilling Safely

Outdoor grilling is popular throughout the year. Whether you use a charcoal or propane grill, it’s important to be careful around the grill to prevent fires, burns, and property damage.


In 2005, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to an estimated 8,300 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues.  The majority of these fires involved leaking or broken gas grills. The other charcoal grill-related fires were due mainly to the grill igniting something nearby.


Burlington Community Fire Protection District is working to reduce the number of grill-related fires and burns in the Burlington Community. Do your part by following these safe grilling tips:

            • Use your grill outside only.

• Periodically clean the grill to remove grease or fat buildup in the trays underneath.

• When your grill is in use, it should be kept in an open space, away from anything that might catch fire, including siding, deck railings, eaves, or tree branches.

• Keep your grill away from play areas or places with high foot traffic.

• Never leave a lit grill unattended.

• Using long-handled cooking utensils will help prevent burns.

• Each year, check your propane cylinder hose for leaks. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. Bubbles will reveal escaping propane.

• If you suspect your grill has a leak, through the bubble test or by smell, and there is no flame:

Turn the tank and the grill off.

If the leak stops, get the grill serviced.

If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department.

• If you use a charcoal grill, be sure to store starter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

• Never add charcoal starter fluid to coals or kindling that you’ve already ignited.

•Allow charcoals to cool before disposing in a metal container.


Follow a few simple tips and you’ll be on your way to safer grilling!