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June 28, 2007
Toronto Fire Services promotes safe summer barbecuing
Many Toronto residents will partake in backyard barbecuing this summer, and Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart is encouraging everyone to stay safe during this annual ritual. "Whether you are barbecuing on your patio, at a local park, or at a cottage residence, here are a few tips to follow to ensure your family and your property is protected from the devastation of fire" said Chief Stewart.

1. Before you step out onto your back patio to begin grilling, make sure that your propane or natural gas barbecue is in good working order. Clean all dirt and debris from your barbecue, including cobwebs and dust that have built up over the winter. Remove your grates and lava rocks and clean them in warm soapy water. Replace defective parts. Ensure that the barbecue hose is free of cracks or holes. Rusty and damaged propane cylinders or cylinders over 10 years of age should be replaced. Call a certified fuel appliance repair person if you do not feel comfortable making safety checks yourself.

2. Light your barbecue by opening the lid first. Turn the propane cylinder valve to the open position, and then open the individual grill controls. Light the barbecue by pressing the ignitor button. If your barbecue does not have an ignitor button, use a long match or lighter into the side burner hole - always have the match or lighter lit before you turn on the grill controls.

3. Take your time when replacing an empty cylinder by securing it properly before you open the tank. Check for leakages prior to lighting your barbecue. If your barbecue connection has an "O" ring, check it for fractures and cracks every time you replace your cylinder.

4. Keep children and pets far away from a hot grill. Never leave them unsupervised in the area of an ignited barbecue.

5. Barbecue in an open outdoor space only. Keep the barbecue 3 metres from windows and doors and away from wooden fences, walls, combustible overhead roofs, and from trees with low hanging branches.

6. Clean your grill and burners of all grease. This minimizes the chance that you will have a serious grease fire.

7. Use-long handled tongs and brushes while grilling that put an extra bit of distance between yourself and the flames. Wear oven mitts and a heavy apron to protect your skin from fire. If you do burn yourself, run the affected area under cool water for five minutes. If your burn is serious (charring, blistering) seek medical attention right away. For more information, visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



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