Barbecue Safety Tips from MFD

Summer is the perfect time to barbecue, so follow these safety tips from the Montclair Fire Department to make sure you're grilling safely.

Avoid injuries with a safe barbecue.

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Summertime is packed with vacations and barbecues, but a fun day in the backyard can turn dangerous if you’re not careful while cooking on a grill. The Montclair Fire Department recently released some important grilling safety tips to make sure all celebrations this summer are safe and fun for everyone.

Here are some tips from the MFD to avoid fire hazards or burn injuries:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in tras below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

If you’re cooking on a propane grill, there are some additional safety tips that you should keep in mind: “Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is 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. Do not move the grill.”

Additionally, if the flame on the grill goes out while you’re cooking, turn both the grill and the gas off. Wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it to avoid any large bursts of flame or a serious fire.

With charcoal grills, be sure you know the proper way to get the charcoal ready to use safely. 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 other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

According to the Montclair Fire Department, July is the peak month for grill fires and roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. Keep these tips in mind while you barbecue this summer to have safe summer fun! For more information about fire safety, visit the National Fire Prevention Association at

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