Baltimore County News
Natalie Litofsky, Public Safety Information Specialist
Baltimore County Fire Department
July 4th weekend is one of the most popular occasions for family and community cookouts. While you’re serving up burgers and hotdogs, it’s also important to remember that safety is still a serious element of summer fun.
The Baltimore County Fire Department recommends that backyard grillers carefully read specific product information after buying new barbeque equipment, and that they review this information each year.
County law prohibits the use of charcoal or propane-fueled grills – or any other open-flame cooking or heating device – on any balcony or within 15 feet of multi-family buildings such as apartments. This restriction does not apply to townhouses or single family homes.
Liquefied petroleum gas (propane) used to fire gas barbecue grills, is highly flammable. Propane is contained under pressure in a steel cylinder. Vaporized and in a confined area, it has the explosive force of several sticks of dynamite.
You should never use a gas grill inside of a structure or store the propane tanks inside of any part of a structure, such as an enclosed porch or balcony. Keep propane tanks in a shady or cool area outside and in the upright position so the relief valve is on top.
Inspect propane grill hoses and connections prior to use. Make sure all fixtures, valves, and caps on propane canisters are working and are tightened properly. If the hose has deteriorated or the fittings are loose, do not use the grill until you correct the problem.
Although they may be eager to help, you should never let young children use a gas-powered barbecue grill.
Never use a charcoal barbecue in an enclosed space or inside the house. Combustion of charcoal produces carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. You should place a charcoal grill on a non-combustible surface a safe distance away from any structure.
It’s very important that you keep children away from a charcoal grill, because there is serious risk of both injury and spreading fire if they were to knock it over.
Do not use lighter fluid on a fire that has already been started. If you need to use a starter fluid, use only charcoal lighter fluid and follow the directions on the container. Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid to start a grill.
After you are finished grilling, pour water on the charcoal or ashes before disposal so they will not restart a fire.