Barbeque Grill Fire Season Arrives
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
News Release 13-33
Date: March 29, 2013
As the grilling or barbeque season arrives, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department wants to remind residents that grill fires cause an estimated average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $37 million in property loss each year nationwide, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Almost half (49 percent) of grill fires on residential properties occur from 5 to 8 p.m. Thirty-two percent of all grill fires occur in the months of May, June, July, and August, and the leading category of equipment power source is "gas fuels" (79 percent).
"Heat from powered equipment" is the leading heat source category from grill fires on residential properties. The leading category of factors contributing to ignition is "mechanical failure, malfunction," (39 percent). Within this category, leaks or breaks of containers or pipes account for approximately 23 percent of all grill fires on residential properties.
Grills, hibachis, and barbeques on residential properties continue to be a high fire risk and, on average, result in more injuries and slightly higher dollar losses when compared to all other fires. It is crucial that each person diligently practice fire safety when cooking or grilling outside. Please review the safety tips below:
Grill Safety Tips
- Grills should be placed at least 15 feet from any home, building, or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
- Charcoal must be kept dry. Wet charcoal can spontaneously ignite. Spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home. A backyard shed is a good place.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
- Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.
- Use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved electrical starters in place of lighter fluid.
- Never use a gas or charcoal fueled grill on apartment or condominium balconies, doing so is against the law. However, electric grills listed by a recognized testing authority may be used on balconies.
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030