With summer-like weather coming this weekend, more people will be starting up their grills for the first time this year. As with all cooking, it is important to stay alert and near the stove or grill to prevent a fire from starting and getting out of control. The leading issues in grill fires are mechanical failure or malfunction, combustibles placed too close to the heat, and leaving a hot grill unattended.
Before you head to your favorite park to grill, check out the Governor’s Stay at Home, Stay Healthy order and Seattle Parks and Recreation guidelines. Currently, all outdoor grills and fire pits at Seattle Parks are closed.
Enjoy grilling safely by following these tips:
- Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use only. Never barbecue in an enclosed area – dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) can accumulate and be deadly. If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911.
- Set-up your grill in an open area at least three feet away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves and brush.
- Make sure all of the grilling parts are firmly in place and the grill is on a flat surface.
- For propane grills, make sure the hose connection is tight and check the hoses for leaks. This is especially important when using the grill for the first time in a long time.
- Never leave grills unattended while cooking.
- Keep a three-foot zone around the grill where children and pets aren’t allowed.
- Do not leave starter fluid, lighters or matches within the reach of children.
- Use the proper tools. Long handled barbecue utensils and flame retardant mitts will prevent burns from heat and flame.
- For charcoal grills, avoid adding lighter fluid after the coals are lit.
- For propane grills, turn the grill and fuel cylinder off immediately after grilling.
- For charcoal grills, allow coals to cool for 48 hours before disposing. If you are not able to wait, douse coals with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers; place in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
More grilling safety tips from the US Fire Administration