Safety Tips On Grilling From Rural Metro 

logo rural metro fire

By: Rural Metro

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, July is the peak month, barely beating out May, for home fires resulting from Grilling accidents. On average 8,900 home fires nationwide are started by grilling each year. Gas grills surpass charcoal grills as the origin of those fires, but in general over 16,000 people go to the emergency room annually because of injuries from grilling. 

Although, we can’t help you with your grilling technique, we can help you avoid your next backyard BBQ ending in tragedy for you or your family. Here are a few helpful hints to make sure you are safe. 

Getting Started

Before lighting your gas grill for the first time, check the connections and hoses. Cracked, damaged or worn hoses and connections should


be replaced before use. 

  • Always open the lid when lighting a gas grill 
  • If the grill does not light immediately… leave the lid open and allow it to air out for 5 min. before trying again. 
  • Never use a gas or charcoal grill indoors
  • Move your gill into an open area. Out from under a low patio, away from the side of the house, off a wooden deck or porch. 
  • Never leave the grill unattended 
  • Take caution when using lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill. Never allow kids to use lighter fluid! 

During Cooking 

  • Know where your closest fire extinguisher is and make sure it is charged. 
  • Keep a box of baking powder nearby in the event of a small grease fire the powder can be dumped on to smother the fire. 
  • Never apply water to a grease fire…. Could result in explosion! 
  • If a grease fire is occurring, close the lid. Turn off the gas IF SAFE TO DO SO. Or close the lid and close the air vents on a charcoal grill. 
  • If the fire continues, call the Fire Department. 
  • If the fuel source catches fire, evacuate the area and call the Fire Department. 

Cleaning up

  • When you finish with a charcoal grill, make sure the hot coals are completely cool. Place ash in a metal container. Never put ash in a plastic trash can or in with other flammable material. 
  • Make sure that the gas is shut off completely and there is no lingering fire in the grill 
  • Clean your grill of grease, debris, and fats. Buildup of these can result in an unexpected fire later. 
  • Keep the kids away from the Grill long after it is off, exterior metal can remain super-heated and easily burn. 

Treating Burns

  • For minor burns- pain, redness, minor blistering- apply a clean towel moistened with cool water. Topical over the counter medication or ointments may help. 
  • For more intense burns- Put out any fire remaining on clothing or skin. Attempt to remove any clothing or jewelry around the burn site. Do Not peel melted clothing or clothing stuck to a burn off. Flush the site with cool water and keep the site clean. Go the hospital for evaluation. 
  • If the burn penetrates several layers of skin- cover the burn with a sanitary dressing call 911 and/or get to the nearest hospital.
  • If burns are to the face, neck or chest, put out any remaining fire, remove clothing from the area if possible, call 911 immediately. 

Rural Metro Fire Department encourages everyone to have a safe and fun Summer! Remember that your membership supports community wide involvement, safety education for kids, emergency medical resources and fire protection community wide! Thank you for supporting your hometown Fire Department.