While grilling can be a fun and tasty way to entertain during the warmer months, many people choose to use their grills during the winter as well, especially during power outages.  However, there are some dangers associated with this activity.  The following are a few points to help keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe while using a grill.

NOTE: This list is not all-inclusive.  Please be sure to use good judgment and common sense while using your grill.

  • Be sure to keep your grill cleaned and well-maintained.  A buildup of grease or the use of faulty or rusted parts is a fire and safety hazard.
  • Keep all unnecessary people away while grilling, especially children.  Horseplay or running around a grill could cause it to be knocked over, causing injury or fire.
  • If using a propane grill, use caution when transporting and storing cylinders.  If at all possible, do not transport cylinders in the passenger compartment of a car and if this is necessary, keep the windows open as much as possible.  Do not store cylinders indoors as even a small leak could cause flammable gas to collect in your home, creating a serious fire and health hazard.
  • If using a charcoal grill, use only the smallest amount of lighter fluid which accomplishes the task.  Be sure to store extra lighter fluid properly.
  • Never grill inside.  Doing this is a fire hazard, and could cause poisonous carbon monoxide to collect inside the building.  This is especially important during the winter months as it becomes more tempting to grill inside, away from the cold.
  • Keep your grill at least 3 feet away from combustibles, especially your house and deck.  Be sure not to grill underneath a deck, as heated gases could cause a fire.
  • Cook food thoroughly to prevent disease transmission. 
  • Use caution when consuming alcohol and grilling.  Alcohol can impair judgment and coordination, so know when to stop or have someone else take over the cooking duties.
  • If an emergency should occur, do not hesitate to call 911.  A rapid response by your local fire and EMS department can drastically improve the outcome of any emergency.  It is always a better idea to call the fire department as soon as something happens and be safe than trying to control a situation on your own and having the situation worsen.  We are here to help, and are more than happy to assist you in any way we can!

Learn more Grill Safety Tips and about Grill Fires from the National Fire Protective Association.