RFD offers up ultimate grilling safety tips

Posted at 11:54 AM, May 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-17 11:54:23-04

The City of Richmond’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services would like to provide some helpful tips for summertime grilling.

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling and therefore it is one of the most popular ways to cook food during the summertime.

Approximately thirty-three percent of home grill structure fires start on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.

A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. Another hazard is that outdoor grills can be very hot, causing burn injuries.

Below are some safety tips to help you enjoy a fun filled grilling summer.

Safety Tips

  • Grills should be placed away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Never use grills on a porch, in a garage, breezeway, carport, nor under an awning or any other covering that can catch fire.
  • Use grills at least 10 feet away from any structure. Open-flame cooking devices should not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of any combustible construction.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.
  • Use the appropriate grilling tools to allow plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking.
  • Periodically remove grease from grease catch trays so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips

  • Purchase the proper starter fluid and store it out of reach of children and away from all heat sources.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container as coal can retain heat for several hours.

Propane Grill Safety Tips

  • Check the gas cylinder hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose as this will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles.
  • If you determine your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the Fire Department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the Fire Department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Use only equipment with the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

From a news release from the Richmond Fire Department.