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Focus on Fire Safety: Grilling and Campfires

posted Jun 11, 2012, 3:25 PM by Charles Mitchell

photo of a mother grilling while her child plays outside the safety zoneEvery year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking and recreational fires. Annually, there are almost 3,800 Americans injured by gas or charcoal grill fires. (Source: CPSC)

Summertime should be a time of fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following safety instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

Safety Tips for Grilling and Campfires

  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets from the grill area: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
  • If you own a propane grill, check the cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
  • Avoid using soft wood, such as pine or cedar that will likely pop and throw sparks, in a fire pit. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
Don’t build a campfire at a site in hazardous, dry conditions or if the campground, area, or event rules prohibit campfires.



The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.

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