Outdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food, but it can also be a fire hazard. Learn how to reduce the risk by following the safety tips listed below.

BBQ placement

  • The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least 1 m away from the grill area.

Use, cleaning and maintenance

  • BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup.

Propane and natural gas BBQ

  • When using your BBQ for the first time each year, check the gas supply-hose from the cylinder or outlet for leaks.
    • Apply a soapy-water solution to the hose with the supply turned on and appliance valves off. Bubbles will form in areas along the hose where there is a leak.
    • If there is a leak, turn off your BBQ and have it serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately turn off the control and supply valve. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for leaks and relighting.
    • If the smell of gas remains, step away from the grill, clear people away from the area and call the fire department. Do not move the BBQ.
  • If the flame goes out while cooking, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before lighting it again.

Charcoal BBQ

  • Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Firepits and outdoor burning

It’s important to always check with your municipality on firepit and BBQ regulations as they can vary across the province.

  • Get a permit from your municipality before starting any outdoor cooking fire. You might not be permitted to do outdoor burning in some municipalities and during some seasons.
  • Supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is out before leaving.
  • Supervise children around any outdoor fires, including campfires, firepits, chimneys and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Avoid burning on windy, dry days. These conditions can cause open burning to spread out of control.
  • Where outdoor burning is allowed, never use flammable or combustible liquids.
  • When burning, have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.

Firepit placement

  • Permitted open fires, such as bonfires or trash fires, need to be at least 15 m from anything that can burn.
  • Permitted recreational fires such as campfires, need to be at least 8 m from anything that can burn.


Download our poster and graphics to share online and in your community to encourage BBQ and firepit safety