Grilling Safety For Small Apartments

By Ashley Paskill on August 24, 2022

Grilling is a fun thing to do, and it is especially popular over the summer. However, it is important to do so safely, especially if you live in an apartment. Your safety is more essential than anything else, so following these safety tips can make sure your experience stays fun and no one gets hurt.

Check the rules

Even if you have the space for grilling, it is crucial to check to see if your landlord or property manager even allows grilling. Be sure to see if you are allowed, and if you are, be sure to follow any rules that may be in place. These are likely outlined in your lease. If not, reach out to your landlord directly to check to see what you need to do.


Having the proper supplies on hand is crucial for grilling. Know what kind of lighter fluid you need for your grill and only use that kind. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. Use heat protectant gloves and long tools for flipping food to help keep your arms and hands safe. Also, keep a spray bottle with water within reach.

Image: Luis Quintero via

Pre-use safety

Before you even start the grill, check the grill for damage. If there is any sort of damage, including rust, the grill may malfunction and cause a safety concern for you and for those around you. Before using a gas grill for the first time each year, check the gas hose for potential leaks. Rust damage can cause holes where charcoal can fall through and cause a fire. If you are using a charcoal grill, be sure that you use the proper starter fluid and store it safely. Before using a gas grill, apply light soap and water to the hose. If this produces bubbles, gas is escaping through the hose.

Be mindful of space

Some apartments have backyards, but some do not. Even if you do have a backyard, it may be too small of a space to grill. Also, you need to be careful if you are grilling in a shared backyard and others are grilling as well. If you do not have your own backyard or your backyard is too small, you may want to consider getting an indoor grill. Indoor grills allow you to experience the taste of grilled food while being safe with the space you have available.

Prevent harm to self and others

While you may not be wearing clothes like scarves during the summer, you may be wearing looser clothing that could possibly catch on fire. When grilling outdoors, be mindful of your location in relation to the grill and where your clothes may come in contact with the grill and cause them to catch on fire. Also, be sure to keep pets and visiting kids away from the grill.

Grill location

The grill should be placed 10 feet away from the building and combustible materials. Unless your grill is specifically an indoor grill, avoid using your grill indoors. This includes avoiding grilling in a garage or vehicle. Ventilation is crucial for safety while grilling. While it may be tempting to grill on a balcony or under an overhang, especially if you do not have a large backyard, this needs to be avoided. Be sure to put the grill on a level surface. If you have a gas grill, keep the grill and any propane tanks you have outside and far away from buildings.

Safety during use

Grilling can be fun, but it is important to be safe so no one gets hurt. While the grill is on, do not leave it unattended. If you are using a gas grill and you suspect a gas leak while the grill is off, have someone service it before using it again. If the leak persists without a flame, call the fire department. In the instance that you suspect a gas leak while you are cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill. Only turn on the gas grill when the lid is closed. Once charcoals are ignited, avoid adding more fluid to the fire as this may cause the fire to flash. If the flame is low, use dry kindling or more charcoal instead of more starter fluid.

Post-use safety

Even after you are done grilling, safety issues may still arise. Be sure to completely close the valve on gas grills. Charcoal grills may be hot several hours after being extinguished, so avoid moving hot coals and do not put combustible materials near the grill. Keep the grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grill and in the trays under the grill. Before disposing of charcoals, soak them in water and dispose of them in a metal container.

Grilling is fun and the food is delicious, but none of that matters if someone gets hurt. It is crucial to practice safety while grilling to make sure no one is injured and property remains intact.

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