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Fire in the Grill: An Expert's Tips on Preventing Fires This Summer

Jun 27, 2016 05:52PM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

By Wes Jones


Wes Jones 
Public Education Coordinator &
Fire/Arson Investigator
Mansfield Fire Marshal's Office

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, the smell of a fresh manicured lawn, is a welcome sight at the family cookout.  

Three out of five households own a gas grill (NFPA), which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbeque memorable for all the wrong reasons.  

To keep your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines:

BBQ Tips 

Propane Grills

  • Propane and (charcoal) BBQ grills should only be used outside.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Clean grill by removing grease or fat buildup.
  • Check connections between tank, hose and regulator.

Charcoal Grills

  • Use a Charcoal starter chimney instead of starter fluid, it allows you to use newspaper as a starter.
  • If starter fluid is used, only use the recommended starter fluid.
  • Keep starter fluid away from children and other heat sources.

Yard Safety Tips

For some, mowing the yard can be therapeutic; others may not enjoy mowing at all. 

Here are a few things to think about:

  • Make sure mower has cooled down before placing back in shed or garage.
  • Gas cans for portable equipment should be stored in a separate location, or in a metal fire cabinet.
  • Most lawn mower injuries can be prevented if you concentrate on your task and use common sense.

Fireworks Tips

With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. Most, are unaware that it is illegal to discharge fireworks in Mansfield. Sparklers included, they caused 41% of firework injuries in 2013 (NFPA). The good news is your family can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks. with just a few tips.

Some tips about fireworks:

  • Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a Public display.
  • If a child sees or finds fireworks, tell an adult, never pick them up.


Summertime is a great time to be outside. No matter what your favorite summer pastime is, make sure you are prepared to handle whatever unexpected things come your way. 

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