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Grill and Fire Pit Safety

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Summer Grill Safety

Before you fire up the grill, take a few minutes to review these grilling fire safety tips.

Do

  1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. This includes portions attached to your house (carports, garages and porches).
  2. Clean your grill regularly. Grease build-up is a major source of flare-ups.
  3. Check for gas leaks. 
  4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty and provide fuel for a fire.
  5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it.
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it.

Don't

  1. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. Never do this. It causes gas to build up your grill.
  2. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
  3. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially to fatty meats. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up
  4. Use a grill indoors. Any open burning flame can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) gas. In a confined space CO can kill you and your family.

Fire Pit Safety and the Law

There is nothing like a cozy outdoor fire on a chilly evening. Home fire pits have become a common addition to many landscapes, but there are a few things you should know before you buy or install one on your property.

In the Village of Homewood only UL approved, commercially made, moveable fire pits are acceptable. Fire pits that are available at garden centers and home improvement stores fall under this guideline.

If you wish to build a permanent fire pit in your backyard, you must obtain a permit from the Village of Homewood Building Department.

For either of these options, the only acceptable fuel to be burned is dry wood logs. You may not burn paper, trash, leaves, construction waste or any other burnable material. Logs only!

When deciding where to place your fire pit, consider these things:

  • Any outside burning must take place at least 20 feet from the nearest structure.
  • Fire pits must be placed either at the back of the house or in the side yard. They may not be placed on property in front of the house.
  • Fire pits may not be used on a deck constructed of wood or other combustible material.
  • Fire pits may not be used inside any structure, such as a gazebo or summer house.
  • When using your fire pit, it is always a good idea to have a charged garden hose nearby.
  • Think about your neighbors and the direction of the smoke. Some people have respiratory issues and smoke can cause them big problems.