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Fire Department

Posted on: May 28, 2021

Greenwich Fire Department Shares Safe Grilling Guidelines

May 28, 2021 – With the return of warm weather and the official start of summer right around the corner, people are firing up their grills and cooking delicious meals to spend time with loved ones and friends. Whether it’s burgers and dogs on a propane grill or kabobs and s’mores over an open flame, the Greenwich Fire Department cannot stress the importance proper use and safety precautions enough.


“This time of year, there’s nothing better than to fire up the barbeque and spend time outside eating with family and friends,” says Greenwich Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment & Retention Coordinator, Brian M. Kelly. “However, grilling poses an increased risk of home fires and personal injury. July is the peak month for grill fires. But, by following some simple safety guidelines, people can stay safe and make the kind of summer memories you want to last a lifetime.”


The NFPA offers the following general grilling guidelines:

  • Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
  • Place grills well away from homes, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep grills clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave grills unattended.


Before using propane grills, look for the following:

  • Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that: 
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, the grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.


When propane grills are on, remember:

  • If you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill. 


For charcoal grills, remember:

  • If using a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When done grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.


Volunteers Needed

The Greenwich Fire Department is dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the various volunteer fire companies within the Town of Greenwich. Also two volunteer fire companies provide an explorer program for teens (14-18 years old). “The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others,” Greenwich Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment & Retention Coordinator, Brian M. Kelly.


About the Greenwich Fire Department

The mission of the Greenwich Fire Department (GFD) centers on the preservation of life and property in the Town of Greenwich against the ravages of fire. The GFD is a combination fire department consisting of uniformed career and volunteer firefighters who work together to accomplish this mission. Responding to over 4,200 emergency calls annually, the men and women of the GFD are trained and equipped to handle a wide range of threats. This all-hazard approach prepares firefighters for many types of calls ranging from minor fire alarms to structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, and hazardous materials incidents. 


Anyone interested in learning more about the GFD should call Brian M. Kelly, Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator at 203-618-8877, email:

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