Barbeque Safety

BBQPropane gas is highly flammable. Each year, about 600 fires or explosions occur with gas grills resulting in injuries to about 30 people. According to NFPA, (National Fire Protection Association) in 1999 alone, gas and charcoal grills combined resulted in 1,500 structure fires and 4,200 outdoor fires in or on home properties, resulting in a combined direct property loss of $29.8 million. The Wescott Fire Department would like to help you this summer with tips on how to keep your afternoon or evening BBQ safe and fun!


When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space (2-3 ft.) from siding and eaves. Also, make sure that the grill is on a sturdy surface, if possible on concrete.  Keep children and pets far away from grills.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and have the grill repaired by a professional, if necessary.  Do not wear loose fitting clothing and make sure to tie back long hair.


  • For charcoal grills, only use lighter fluid designed for grills.
  • Never use gasoline and do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire.
  • Never bring charcoal grills indoors. Burning charcoal produces deadly carbon monoxide. Also, bringing a grill indoors creates the possibility of a fire breaking out in your home.
  • Do not leave a grill unattended. It could be possible for the flame to get out of control and start a larger fire.  Have a water bottle on hand to control any flare-ups created from dripping grease.
  • Always dispose of charcoal in an approved metal container. Do not place in a plastic bag or container.  Always make sure that the fire and charcoal are completely extinguished.


  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.
  • Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Make sure you are using a new safety approved tank. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you use tanks put into service after April 1st 2002. If your tank is older than that, replace it for about the cost of $15-25 plus the price of propane. How do you know if your tank is within date? A date should be printed on the label, however if you still can not tell, count the number of prongs in the connection. The new tanks have 3 prongs and the old tanks have 5 prongs.  Disposal of old obsolete bottles should never be handled by your local trash removal company. Appropriate disposal sites can be found by contacting your local city or county government.
  • Always keep propane gas containers upright.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.  Have a water bottle on hand to control any flare-ups created from dripping grease.
  • Never bring the propane tank into the house.
  • Always double check to make sure that the tank has been turned off.