Six tips for barbecue fire safety
Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service shares tips for a safe season
June 29, 2022
Barbecue season is here. Before getting ready to cook outside in the warm weather, Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) wants to remind you of the importance of fire safety and prevention when grilling up a storm this season.
Barbecuing safety tips
- Use barbecues outdoors only. They produce carbon monoxide, a scentless, poisonous gas, which can be fatal in an enclosed space.
- Ensure all burner ports are free of rust, dirt or cobwebs. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to ensure they are clear of any obstructions.
- Check hose and cylinder connections to make sure they are in good condition. To look for leaks, brush a mixture of 50 per cent soap and 50 per cent water onto all hoses and connections, and then look for bubbles. Replace, repair or tighten any connections until bubbles are gone. Never use a match or lighter to check for leaks.
- Clean out grease traps and keep grill areas free of debris.
- Place the barbecue in a safe area away from combustible materials, buildings and fences. Radiant heat from a barbecue can damage siding on the exterior of a home or shed.
- Light the barbecue with the lid open. If the burner does not ignite, turn off the gas and wait five minutes. Keep the lid open, then try again.
When using charcoal grills, only use charcoal briquettes (a compressed chunk of coal dust or charcoal) explicitly designed for that purpose and charcoal lighting fluid to ignite. Sprinkle the briquettes with lighter fluid and allow it to soak in, then wait approximately 10 minutes. Never add fluid after igniting the barbecue and never use gasoline to light a barbecue.
- Always carry and transport a propane cylinder in an upright position with the safety valve on top. Ensure vehicle windows are open when transporting.
- Never leave a propane cylinder in a parked car with the windows up. Heat can build up quickly and this could cause an explosion.
- Do not store propane inside a building, including a garage. Propane gas is heavier than air -- if a cylinder leaks, the escaping gas will settle near the ground. A spark from the pilot light of your furnace, hot water heater or fireplace can cause ignition at any time.
For more information and fire safety tips from VFRS, visit vaughan.ca/fire.