Outdoor Grilling Safety

We know that here in the County, we have many grilling enthusiasts and families who enjoy tasty foods hot off the grill. Here at the Department of Fire and Life Safety, we do not want your dinner or fun gathering to become a grill-caused fire incident. We all need to be mindful of grilling safety best practices. Here are some basic safety tips from our department to help you grill safely.

  • Make sure your grill is working properly.  Grilling Safety Tips from YCFLS
  • Check the grill for damage before using it for the first time each year, and check it regularly. 
  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It should be in an open space away from anything that could catch fire.
  • Children and pets should be at least three feet away from any grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid on coals or kindling that has already been ignited.
  • Be sure shirt tails, sleeves, or apron strings don’t hang over the grill.
  • Certain fire codes prohibit the use of grills (and other similar devices) on combustible balconies, patios or decks of multifamily buildings, single-family attached buildings or similar structures.
  • Be sure to check with the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety to ensure that NFPA's grilling fire safety guidelines comply with local safety standards.

It is equally as important to be knowledgeable about our York County ordinance for outdoor grilling.

York County Ordinance under Article III, Fire Prevention and Protection, 11-36 Amendment E Section F-316.0:

Prohibition of Certain Cooking Devices: No charcoal, flammable liquid, or liquefied petroleum gas, brazier, hibachi, grill, stove, or similar device shall be ignited or used on the balconies, patios, or decks of multifamily buildings, single-family attached buildings, or similar structures when such balconies, patios, or decks are constructed of combustible materials. Where rental units are involved, the management shall notify all tenants in writing of this requirement at the time the tenant initially occupies the premises, and shall take reasonable steps to ensure compliance. Electric grills meeting the requirements of a nationally recognized testing laboratory for use on combustible materials may be used on balconies, patios or decks, provided the manufacturer's instructions are followed.

If you are interested in other York County ordinances, they can be found here.