While outdoor grilling is a favorite summertime tradition for many, Fire Marshal Ross Coleman cautions it’s important to follow some safety precautions to ensure a successful and safe experience. Coleman offers these safety tips from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, with whom he once served:
Do
  • Have a fire extinguisher or garden hose connected to a water source nearby.
  • Make sure your cooking site is safely placed in an open area and on a flat surface at least 10 feet from any combustible. (For the record: Yes, your house totally counts as a combustible.)
  • Place the grill on something non-flammable such as a driveway or paving stones.
  • Make sure your fire is out and that the coals are “chilled.” That’s, like, Grilling 101, man.
  • Make sure there is not a burn ban where you live.
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks if grilling with propane. If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department as soon as you can.
  • Keep your grill clean and remove grease and fat from the grill and the trays below.
Don’t
  • Never grill or barbecue on windy days. You want people blown away by your steaks … not the impending doom of a giant fireball.
  • Don’t spray lighter fluid on a fire to “get it going” … or you’ll be “going” to the emergency room.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended or let unsupervised children near a grill.
  • Never put coals in a plastic, paper or wooden container. Also, do not dump them on the grass. Keep it classy.
  • Apartment dwellers, do not grill on the porch or balcony of your unit. If you do, watch your deposit go up … in flames!
  • Never drag a lit pit behind your car or truck. Seriously. Countywide fires have started this way. Don’t be the guy who sets the county on fire. No one likes that guy.
  • If you want your barbecue to be the bomb, don’t get bombed. Save the sauce for the meat.