Barbecue Season Safety Guide

As barbecue season approaches, it’s vital for homeowners to prioritize safety measures to protect their family and property. Here’s a comprehensive guide based on the type of grill you use:

1. Propane Grills Safety:

  • Always store propane tanks outside and away from heat sources, including the grill itself. Avoid keeping them in your car’s trunk.
  • Ensure the gas is completely turned off post-cooking or when switching tanks. A minor leak can lead to a catastrophic explosion.
  • Inspect the tank for any damage before refilling and always buy from known, reputable suppliers.
  • Refrain from using propane grills on balconies, terraces, or rooftops. They pose a significant danger and can be unlawful.
  • Restrict the property to a maximum of two 20-pound propane tanks for one or two-family homes.
  • To check for leaks, apply a soap solution on the connections and look for bubble formation. Ensure you fix any persistent leaks before using.
  • Always make connections securely, especially after a long hiatus. The start of the barbecue season is the riskiest.
  • Open the lid before igniting a propane grill to prevent gas build-up and possible explosion.
  • After cooking, shut off the gas first and then the controls to consume any remaining gas in the pipes.


2. Charcoal Grills Safety:

  • Avoid using charcoal grills indoors due to the lethal carbon monoxide (CO) emission risk.
  • Use only barbecue starter fluid for ignition. Keep away from open flames to prevent flashback.
  • Allow the fluid to penetrate the coals for a minute before lighting to minimize explosive risks.
  • Ensure a 10-feet gap from buildings for charcoal grills on terraces or balconies. Also, have water, like a hose or 4-gallon container, nearby.
  • Maintain safety while lighting by keeping starter fluid at a distance and being cautious of spills.
  • After grilling, store ashes in a sealed metal container and dampen them. Ensure they’re cold before disposal.
  • Limit charcoal depth to 2 inches in the grill base.


3. Electric Grills Safety:

  • Steer clear of lighter fluid or flammable materials.
  • If you require an extension cord, ensure its amperage aligns with the grill’s needs. Unplug when idle and keep it off high-traffic areas.
  • Abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines.


General Safety for All Grills:

  • Position the grill in a safe zone away from children, pets, or potential collisions.
  • Secure lighters away from children’s reach.
  • Never leave an active grill unsupervised.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or hose ready.
  • Wait until the grill cools down before relocating or storing.
  • Always use the grill on non-flammable, level ground, at a distance from structures or vegetation.
  • Periodically clean your grill and inspect for wear and tear.
  • Avoid baggy clothes that could ignite and utilize long barbecue tools and heat-resistant mitts.
  • Keep flammable beverages away from the grill.


In essence, while grills enhance our outdoor experiences, their potential risks to life and property necessitate proper care and precautions.