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March 2012
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CityLink Seattle

Outdoor Grilling Fire Prevention Tips from the Seattle Fire Department

March 26–Every year, the Seattle Fire Department responds to fires caused by outdoor grilling. With the arrival of Spring and warming temperatures, the potential for an increase in grilling fires is much higher.

Here are some safety precautions to prevent grilling-related fires:

1)For gas grills, make certain the hose connection is tight and check the hoses for leaks. Turn the grill and fuel cylinder off immediately after grilling.

2) For charcoal grills, avoid adding lighter fluid after the coals have been lit.
Always place coals in a metal container with a tight lid after they have cooled for 48 hours.

3)Never leave gas or charcoal grills unattended while cooking.

4)Always use your grill outdoors and never barbecue in an enclosed area because carbon monoxide can accumulate and be deadly.

5)Set-up your grill in an open area at least 10 feet away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves and brush.

6)The Seattle Fire Department recommends the use of one-pound propane cylinders as the least hazardous fuel source for outdoor grills.

The use of barbecues in single family homes, apartments and condominiums is not regulated by current Washington State law. However, apartment building owners and condominium associations, through lease agreements and owner’s association rules, may still prohibit or restrict use of barbecues.