Grilling Safety

Monday, May 20th, 2019

Grilling is a popular way to celebrate the summer season in Central Texas. But before you light your grill, Travis County ESD #2 wants to be sure you know how to keep your family and guests safe!

ALL AROUND SAFETY — Follow these basics for all gas, charcoal, and wood-burning grills:

  • Never grill under a covered patio, pavilion, or tent, or inside a garage.
  • Keep your grill clean. Remove grease or fat drippings from the grate and the trays below.
  • Only use grills at least 10 feet from anything that can burn, including deck railing, fences, tree branches, bushes, homes, and eaves.
  • Don’t leave a grill unattended. Set a timer so you don’t forget the grill is lit. If you ever have to briefly walk away, take something with you like a spatula as a reminder to return quickly.
  • Keep any children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill. Restrict any horseplay.
  • Always keep all types of lighter fluid well out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • If you live in an apartment complex in the Travis County ESD #2 community, open-flame grills are strictly forbidden in and around the units; they cannot be stored or used within 10 feet of any apartment building.


  • If you use a starter fluid, only use CHARCOAL starter fluid. Once the fire is going, never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the fire.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before removing them or throwing them away. They must cool in a metal container.


  • Make sure the lid is open before lighting a gas grill, to prevent gas buildup.
  • If the flame goes out while cooking, turn the grill and the gas off. Wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
  • If it’s been a few months since you used your grill, check the gas tank hose for leaks. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose; a propane leak will release bubbles. If you find a leak either by a smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional. If the leak doesn’t stop, call 9-1-1. If you smell gas while cooking with a grill, immediately get away from the grill, and call 9-1-1. Do not try to move the grill.