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Archived News Release from 2011

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Advises Community About Safe Use of BBQs and Fire Pits

Redwood City, CA - July 27, 2011 - Summer is here with backyard cooking and outdoor family enjoyment well underway - but are homeowners using outdoor cooking and fire pits safely?

The Redwood City Fire Department has a few important and helpful safety tips for all residents who wish to cook outdoors, and those who may use open outdoor retail fire pits for heating and visual enjoyment.

  • BBQ cookers, either using propane or charcoal, and open fire pits should always be used only as directed by the manufacturers’ instructions and safety guidelines
  • Never use fire pits, BBQs, or other grills indoors or in areas that do not have adequate ventilation
  • Operate BBQs and fire pits at least ten feet from any structure and fence lines, and out from under low hanging tree branches
  • Make sure BBQs are on a level surface and never leave the cooking appliance unattended
  • All homes should always have a fire extinguisher handy, and particularly nearby when using a BBQ or fire pit
  • The burning of trash and debris is not permitted in BBQ’s or open fire pits
  • Gas fire pits are permitted (if natural gas or propane)
  • Fire pits that use logs or charcoal blocks must have a screen cover attached during use
  • On High Fire Hazard Days or Red-Flag Alert Days the Fire Department recommends that outdoor cooking and fire pits not be used
  • Never remove hot ashes until they are cool and completely out, and place ash in a non-combustible metal can with a lid. Mixing a little water in with the ashes will ensure there are no hot ash materials that can start a fire
  • It’s also very important to obey the Spare the Air Days burning wood or other solid fuel in BBQs and open fire pits is not allowed

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Jim Palisi, Fire Marshal
Redwood City Fire Department


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