New Canaan Fire Marshal: Grill Safety Tips


As we continue to shelter in place, one thing we can look forward to is firing up the backyard grill for some outdoor dining (or if you are like me, it never stops).

Fire Marshal Fred Baker. Credit: Michael Dinan

To ensure everyone can enjoy their back yard bistros unencumbered by unfortunate mishaps, following is a list of steps you can take to avoid being “well done”:

  • Make sure that your grill is serviced and cleaned annually, following manufacturer’s instructions for care and use. There are many good tutorials on
  • Leak check all hoses and fittings on gas grill with a dish detergent and water solution. If any “bubbling” appears, have the grill serviced by a certified technician.
  • When changing propane tanks make sure all connections are tight.
  • Always light with the lid open.
  • When transporting propane tanks for refilling/exchange they must be secured upright. An old milk crate works great to stabilize tanks for transport. Never transport in trunks.
  • Never leave a tank in the car while doing other errands—full tanks sometimes will start to leak gas in the heat build-up inside of a parked car.
  • Keep grills at least 3 feet away from combustibles (i.e. your home!)
  • Always dispose of ashes from charcoal grills in metal containers with a tight lid.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start your charcoal – only use approved charcoal lighter fluid. Once the charcoal is started, never add lighter fluid.
  • Never use a grill—gas or charcoal—indoors.

The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office encourages safe summertime grilling. For further questions please contact us at 203-594-3030.

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