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The original item was published from 5/31/2022 4:25:03 PM to 9/1/2022 12:00:04 AM.

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Fire Department

Posted on: June 1, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Basic Safety Tips for Cookouts


There’s nothing like outdoor grilling, but a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They are also very hot, and can cause severe burn injuries. Here are some safety tips for a happy and safe cookout season: 

  • Use charcoal lighter fluid to light a charcoal grill only on coals before the fire is lit. If you try to make a fire bigger by adding more fluid, the heat from the coals may ignite the stream of fuel and burn back into the can, causing it to explode in your hands.
  • Consider using a U.L. approved electrical starter in place of lighter fluid.
  • Place grills away from structures (minimum 10 feet) so they will not tip over or ignite objects above them. One of the biggest dangers with grills is trying to use them on apartment balconies.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Never bring a grill into the home or garage. The carbon monoxide produced by burning charcoal is dangerous, even deadly, in an enclosed space.
  • Keep a garden hose or a portable fire extinguisher handy in case the fire gets out of control.
  • Keep children and pets away from fires and grills. It only takes a second for curiosity to cause a serious burn.
  • Though coals may appear to be cool, always soak them with water prior to disposal. Coals retain enough heat to reignite for days after a fire. Once completely cool, place the old coals in a metal container.
  • If your bag of charcoal gets wet, leave it in a well ventilated area away from the house. During the drying process, spontaneous ignition can occur in confined areas.
  •  If you have a gas grill, make sure you open the lid prior to igniting the gas.

With a little planning on everyone’s part, this can be a safe summer cookout season for everyone.

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