The SVFC and Loudoun County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management want to help keep you safe as the weather gets warmer.
Fire in the grill is a welcome sight at the family cookout but fire anywhere else can make your summer barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. Follow these tips to stay safe during grilling season:
- Propane & charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- Keep the grill at least 15ft away from any structure and the grill area clear of combustibles.
- Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and grease trap.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- It is unlawful to operate an open flame grill, hibachi, gas grill, manufactured fireplace or portable fire pit, etc. within 15ft of any apartment, apartment building, condominium, commercial business, health care facilities, housing for the aged or physically and/or mentally impaired.
- Don’t store exchange type propane tanks for grills on the balcony of any of the above dwellings.
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use.
- Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- Soak charcoal briquettes and ashes thoroughly with water and always let ashes cool before disposing of them into a closed metal container. The metal container should be kept outside, a safe distance away from your home or any other structures.
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. If a propane leak is present, it will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, obvious by the odor or the soapy bubble test, but no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.
- Never store propane cylinders indoors or in enclosed areas, e.g. basement, shed, tent, etc.
For additional fire prevention information visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.