New Canaan Fire Marshal on ‘Grill Safety’


With Memorial Day approaching, the grilling season is upon us. To ensure everyone can enjoy their backyard bistros without unfortunate mishaps, following is a list of steps you can take to avoid being “well done”:

  • Fire Marshal Paul Payne. Credit: Michael Dinan

    Propane and Charcoal BBQ grills should be used outdoors only.

  • The grill should be placed at least 3 feet away from combustibles, including your home, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Make sure that your grill is serviced and cleaned annually, following manufacturer’s instructions for care and use.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start your charcoal – only use approved charcoal lighter fluid.  Once the charcoal is started NEVER add additional lighter fluid.
  • When you have finished grilling, let the coals cool completely. Always dispose of ashes from charcoal grills in metal containers with a tight lid.
  • Whenever changing propane tanks make sure all connections are tight. 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 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.
  • Do not leave a tank in the car while doing other errands – full tanks sometimes will start to “off-gas” in the heat build-up inside of a parked car.

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

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