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Written 10.14.19 | By Jacqueline L.

Grilling is a common summer to early fall pastime that is enjoyed by many. But did you know that, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), grilling is the culprit behind an average of 9,600 home fires annually? Because gas grills tend to leak, they typically cause more fires than charcoal grills (1). With over 64% of households owning a gas grill, this is an area where you shouldn’t be chillin’ if you’re grillin’. A good handle on safety procedures when firing up the BBQ can go a long way toward prevention. Here are a few tips to keep you safe when grilling this holiday weekend.

  1. Grill outside and away from structures:
  • 25%-29% of fires are started by outdoor grills located on the porch, patio, or on exterior surfaces such as balconies (2).
  1. Test and maintain your grill:
  • You can check if your gas grill has a leak by applying a soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If you see the solution bubble then you have a leak.
  1. Try to always keep the grill clean and stable:
  • Always remove fatty buildup from both the grill and the tray to prevent any fires. Grills should always be used on flat surfaces to prevent tilting.
  1. Always be prepared to put out a fire:
  • Baking soda and sand are very useful when putting out a grease fire (2), and fire extinguishers are the gold standard. Please don’t attempt to put out a grease fire with just water.
  1. If the flame goes out:
  • Turn the grill and gas OFF. Wait at least 5 minutes to re-light.
  1. General Caution:
  • Grills can stay very hot up to an hour after use. Do not attempt to move a hot or lit grill. Wait until the grill is fully cooled to move it.

Grilling is a fun hobby that helps make deliciously prepared meals for your friends and family. Just remember to follow these safety tips to make sure you have a safe grilling experience!

References (MLA)

  1. “Home Grill Fires.” NFPA,
  2. Fire Fighter. “Grilling Fire Safety & Prevention: Keeping the Barbecue Fun!” Fire Fighter, Fire Fighter, 10 Jan. 2018,