New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Safe Grilling Tips


At the first signs of warm weather many folks head directly to their barbecue grill to start that greatest of summertime traditions: grilling! (Or, if you are like me it never stops). 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 manufacturers instructions for care and use.
  • Fire Marshal Fred Baker. Credit: Michael Dinan

    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.

  • Whenever changing propane tanks make sure all connections are tight.
  • 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 “off-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 more 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 594-3030.

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