BBQ Safety

There's nothing like outdoor grilling. It's one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries.

Summer is the peak month for grill fires and that's why this month, the Office of the Fire Commissioner is focused on BBQ and fire pit safety.

Barbecue Safety Tips

Alberta's Office of the Fire Commissioner shares tips for safe grilling.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. 
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet or 1 metre away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended. 
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal BBQ

There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel. If you use 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 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 you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane BBQ

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or by soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.  Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.


Home Cooking Safety

Kitchen fires remain one of the leading causes of fires in the home. Airdrie Fire Department would like to remind everyone to be attentive and safe while cooking. Below are some helpful tips that will help ensure your safety while preparing food. 

  • Never leave cooking unattended, stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.
  • If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the burner.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.
  • To prevent overheating and ignition of cooking oil, fry foods in a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer or skillet designed for a maximum temperature of
    200 °C.
  • Make sure to use dry oven mitts and potholders to prevent scalding or burns.
  • Place hot foods and liquids in the centre of the table or toward the back of a counter and out of the reach of young children.

If you have a cooking fire:

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry.  If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells,  immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. 
  • If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. 
  • Call the fire department from outside.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.


Ice Safety


As the weather changes, the Airdrie Fire Department would like to remind everyone that ice on ponds and creeks may be tempting to play on, but playing on ice is very dangerous. Stormwater facilities, often called stormwater ponds, are not safe for skating or any other winter activity. The surface may look solid, but stormwater flows underneath the surface due to snowfall, snowmelt, road clearing and salting operations. Runoff typically contains concentrations of salt and/or warmed water, which can quickly thin ice surfaces. There also may be sudden water level changes under the ice, resulting in unstable and unsafe conditions.

Many factors can affect ice thickness and strength including:

  • Fluctuating temperatures
  • Depth and size of body of water
  • Flowing water under the ice
  • Chemicals like salt and silt from run-off found in stormponds in the water including fluctuations in water levels
  • Logs, rocks and docks in the water absorbing heat from the sun

The Airdrie Fire Department wants you to know that any of these factors can cause the ice to weaken and become dangerous. In order to stay safe, it is important to talk with your children about ice safety. It is also important to keep your pets on a leash when walking them near natural ice surfaces.

For more information please contact Airdrie Fire Department,
Public Education Division | 403.948.8880


Fireplace Safety

When the weather cools, nothing is quite as cozy as a warm fireplace. To ensure they can do their job safely fireplaces require maintenance and proper operation.

Always ensure fireplaces are used in accordance with manufacturers’ directions and installed by a professional. Make sure a one metre area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, newspaper and any other potentially flammable materials. Keep small children and pets away from the fireplace

Wood burning fireplaces

Start your fire with paper and small pieces of kindling. Don’t use accelerants such as lighter fluid as they can cause a fire to grow large and unmanageable very quickly. Only burn well-seasoned firewood: Green wood burns cooler and causes creosote build-up faster than burning seasoned wood. Creosote forms up on the sides of a chimney from unburned waste products from wood. If too much creosote builds up, it can easily ignite and start a fire. Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. Regularly clean out ashes of the fireplace. Remember, hot remnants in discarded ashes can ignite leaves, grass and trees if not disposed of correctly. Keep a fire extinguisher close by and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use it. Inspect the extinguisher regularly to ensure it is charged

Inspecting your chimney

Over time chimneys can become damaged. In addition, problems such as cracks, faults and structural damage are not visible from the outside. Blocked flue, corroded flashing and cracked bricks can cause fires and carbon monoxide buildup.

Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup, damages and obstructions such as leaves, branches or bird nests.


Contact us

Airdrie Fire Department Administration

P. 403.948.8880

F. 403.948.9994


Airdrie Fire Department Administration
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday