Grill safely this summer

Barbecuing is a classic summer activity, but it does come with some risk. Follow our tips so you don’t get burned this season.

Barbecue safety basics

  • Fire advisories, restrictions and bans usually don’t apply to cooking and heating appliances fueled by liquid fuel, such as propane or natural gas, but they may apply to other fires, such as firepits or charcoal barbecues. Check our fire status webpage and before starting your grill.
  • Never use a propane or charcoal barbecue indoors.
    • Grilling in a garage with the door open does not provide enough ventilation and can cause harmful levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate.
  • Place your barbecue at least one metre (three feet) from any structure – including a house, garage, deck railings, etc. – and away from eavestroughs and overhanging branches.
  • Keep your grill clean. Remove grease and/or fat buildup from the grills and trays before use.
  • Be ready in case of a fire. Have a fire extinguisher, baking soda or bucket of water nearby to extinguish an accidental fire.
  • Supervise the barbecue at all times and keep kids and pets away from it when in use.
  • Make sure all valves are turned off and that the barbecue is cooled before leaving the area, covering the barbecue or moving the barbecue.

Charcoal barbecues

  • If you use starter fluid, only use an approved fire-starter fluid designed for charcoal barbecues. Do not use gasoline. Store fire-starter fluid in a safe place away from children.
  • Wait for at least one minute before lighting fluid-soaked coals. This gives explosive vapours time to dissipate.
  • Extinguish coal after use by picking them up with tongs while wearing oven mitts and submerging them in a metal pail filled with water. Before disposing of charcoal ash and/or coals, ensure it is completely cool. Live coals or hot embers can start a fire.

Grilling on an open fire

You do not need a fire permit in Sturgeon County if burning in an approved firepit; however, fire advisories, restrictions and bans may apply to you.

Gas (propane and natural gas) barbecues

  • Inspect your gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Open the barbecue lid before lighting and, if using a match or lighter to light the barbecue, light it before turning on the barbecue’s fuel source.
  • When done grilling, turn off the gas tank hose first, then turn off the barbecue to prevent gas from getting trapped in the hose.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the barbecue and call 911.
  • If the flame goes out during use, turn off the gas tank and barbecue and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.
  • Do not store extra propane cylinders under your barbecue or indoors.
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