Grilling Safety

According to the Barbeque Industry Association, three out of four households in the United States own a barbeque grill. From making a quick dinner to barbequing a feast for family and friends, when lighting a charcoal or gas grill, it's important to remember that a savory barbeque is a safe barbeque.

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), gas and charcoal grills cause an annual average of 1,500 structure fires and 4,200 outdoor fires in or on residential properties, resulting in a combined direct property loss of $29.8 million.


Protection can be relatively simple and inexpensive. To help prevent fire fatalities and injuries at your home this summer:

  • Only use your barbeque grill outside. Grills are not designed to be used in a trailer, tent, garage, or house. Carbon monoxide can build-up and poison you.
  • Setup a grill in an open area away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbeque in a well ventilated area. Be aware of wind blown sparks.
  • Always read the owners manual before using the grill.
  • Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire.
  • Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher within easy reach.
  • When purchasing a fire extinguisher, choose the largest size that can be handled comfortably.
  • Use a fire extinguisher when the fire is small and contained and only when there is a clear path behind you. Use a fire extinguisher to create an escape path to safety when all
    exits and escape routes are blocked by fire. Always call the fire department before you try to extinguish the fire yourself.
  • Wear clothing that does not have hanging frills or apron strings, and use flame retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
  • Never leave a grill unattended once it is lit.
  • Use long-handled utensils to avoid burns and splatters.
  • Never attempt to move a hot grill.
  • If using a charcoal grill, gasoline should never be used in place of charcoal lighter fluid. And never reapply charcoal lighter fluid after the fire has started; the flames can ignite the vapors, and travel up to the can causing an explosion.
Consumers should use caution when storing LP gas containers. Always keep containers upright. Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors. Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill. To avoid accidents while transporting LP gas containers, consumers should transport the container in a secure, upright position. Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
Consumers should use extreme caution and always follow manufacturer's instructions when connecting or disconnecting LP gas containers. Grills manufactured after October 1, 1995, are required to have three additional safety features to eliminate leak hazards: a device to limit the flow of gas in the event of hose rupture; a mechanism
to shut-off the grill; and a feature to prevent the flow of gas if the connection between the tank and the grill is not leak proof. Consumers should consider purchasing grills that have these safety features.

Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and NFPA