Barbecues & Grilling

Fast Facts

Did you know that every year, outside cooking grills cause more than 6,000 fires, 5 fatalities, more than 170 injuries, and $35 Million in property loss? Gas grills alone cause over 2,700 fires, 80 injuries, and $11 Million dollars in damage.

Fire Prevention Tips

Most of the gas grill fires and explosions are caused by gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks. In this list and the YouTube video at the bottom of this page, you'll find some safety tips to keep in mind before you light that grill:

  • Before using the grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.
  • Make sure the Venturi tubes, where the gas and air are mixed, are not blocked. (Spiders love these areas.)
  • Do not overfill the tank.
  • Never, under any circumstances, use gasoline to start a fire.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire: the flames could flashback up into the container and explode.
  • Grills should be operated a minimum of three (3) feet away from any structures or combustible materials. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper use.
  • Make sure that the barbecue is level and steady before you light it.
  • Be sure to have an ABC fire extinguisher readily available for use should the grill catch fire.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue. And don’t wear long sleeves.
  • Never grill or barbecue in enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide could be produced, increasing fire hazards.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach children to report any loose matches and lighters to an adult right away.
  • Always supervise children around outdoor grills, not only for fire safety, but also to prevent children from putting their hands on the hot surfaces of the grill, preventing burns.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly. Douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers; instead, put them in a metal can. Keep hot coals away from all structures.
  • A bucket of water, garden hose, or fire extinguisher should be handy if the cooking fire gets out of hand. Everyone that is around the area should know the Stop, Drop, and Roll if their clothing catches on fire.
  • Call 911 if the fire gets out of hand or anyone gets burned.

Recreational Fires

Learn more about being safe during your adventure to the great outdoors, at the U.S Fire Administration website.

View the Midland recreational fire codes (PDF).