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Fire up the Grill!

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling! It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food, but a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch. Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants you to stay safe from injury and burns by following some easy safe barbecuing tips.

In the City of Colorado Springs, residents of apartment complexes need to remember that charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices are NOT allowed to be used on the balconies, or within 10 feet of a structure, as this is a violation for the Fire Code.

It is important to keep up to date on if there are any Burn Restrictions or Burn Bans that are in effect. Often times, burn restrictions or bans can impact your ability to use your barbecue grill depending on where you live.

Action Steps You Can Take

“Outdoor Cooking Appliances” include: Charcoal Grills, Propane Grills, Smokers, Turkey Fryers, Fire Pits, Outdoor Fireplaces, and Chimineas.

Charcoal grills

  • Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel. 
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. 
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Liquid propane gas grills

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. 
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If 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 move the grill.

Top 5 tips

  1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. 
  2. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  3. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  4. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  5. Never leave your grill unattended.

You can download and print this Barbeque Safety flier for more information.