Practicing BBQ Safety

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. The Lacombe Fire Department wants you to follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.


Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet or 1 metre away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

“Cleaning off your grills before and after using your BBQ is pretty standard practice for most people, but very few regularly, if ever, empty the grease trap underneath those grills," says Lacombe Deputy Fire chief Drayton Bussiere. "While this job isn’t very pleasant, it is a very important step to safe barbecuing. Keeping your grease traps empty and clean will help to reduce the risk of grease fires on your grill, which not only keeps you and your household safe from fire  but it makes your food taste better too.” 

Below are some simple methods to get your charcoal or propane BBQ ready for use:


Charcoal BBQ

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as 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 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.


Propane BBQ

  • 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 by 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.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
Check out this video for a simple test for checking gas grill leaks:


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