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Safety Tips for Grills and Fire Pits

Summer's here, and for many of us, that means barbecue season—or time to enjoy long evenings gathered around the fire pit.

But be aware: Open flames can cause injuries. July is the peak month for grill fires, and roughly half of all injuries involving grills are burns.*

So before you fire up the grill or get your marshmallows ready to toast, be sure to follow our safety tips.

Tips for all types of open flames

• Keep a portable fire extinguisher or other extinguishing equipment (such as dirt, sand, a water barrel or garden hose) nearby.
• Be aware that open burning is prohibited when weather makes such fires hazardous or when prohibited by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).
• Do not leave grills or fire pits unattended.

Grilling safety tips

• Use grills (whether propane or charcoal) outdoors only.
• Place the grill away from your home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill.
• Remove fat or grease buildup from the grill and trays below the grill.
• If you use starter fluid for your charcoal grill, never add it or other flammable liquids directly to the fire.

Fire pit safety tips

• Keep fire pits clear of combustible materials such as patio umbrellas, awnings or canopies.
• You may not burn materials such as plastics, garbage and construction waste, yard vegetation and debris.

For more information

To find out when open burning is allowed, visit BAAQMD Compliance Assistance or call the Spare the Air hotline at 877-466-2876 (press 7 for air information)

For questions, contact Fire Prevention, 408-730-7212.


*According to the National Fire Protection Association

May 31, 2019