COLORADO SPRINGS — Fire up the grill this Fourth of July weekend! The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) reminds the public to keep safety at the forefront of the holiday weekend with barbeque safety tips.

More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace, patio, exterior balcony or open porch, states CSFD. Roughly half of all injuries involving grills are thermal burns. 

CSFD says that residents of apartment complexes are not allowed to use charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices on balconies, or within 10 feet of a structure, as this is a violation of the Fire Code.

Charcoal Grills

  • Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as 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 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.

Liquid propane 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.

Top Five Tips

  1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. 
  2. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  3. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  4. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  5. Never leave your grill unattended.