Friday, May 24, 2013

Barbecue Safety

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. In our area, many will light their barbecue grills for the first time since September. Below are some reminders for barbecue safety.

Grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a barbecue grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries and unwanted fires.

Follow the tips below and you will be on the way to safe grilling.

Safety Tips
  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
Charcoal Grills
·         There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
·         If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
·         Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
·         There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
·         When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Gas Grills
·         Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. 
·         Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. 
·         If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department
·         If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Summer is the peak time for grill fires
  • More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch.
  • Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.

More information about barbecue safety is available at the National Fire Protection Association's page on grilling safety.

The summer is a great time to come together with friends and family; a time to celebrate and share in the joy of community.  With a little extra care together we can make it a safe time to experience these celebrations.  For more information about the Vigilant Fire Company visit or like us on or follow us on Some of this information is provided courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association. Remember, in Great Neck, if you have a fire or medical emergency, you must call your local fire department directly to ensure the fastest response possible.

·         Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company for fire and medical emergencies anywhere north of the Great Neck Railroad Station dial (516) 482-5000.
·         Great Neck Alert Fire Company for emergencies in the Villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Saddle Rock dial (516) 487-7000.
·         Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department for fire and medical emergencies south of the LIRR in Great Neck dial (516) 466-4411.

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