Barbecue & Portable Heater Safety

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Barbecue and portable heater safety

barbecue in the snow with the words grill indoors not in your garage, house, shed or any enclosed area

With everyone spending more time at home, Georgina Fire and Rescue Services is reminding residents of some safety tips to keep you and your family safe from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning that can be caused by the improper use of fuel-powered/heating appliances. 

  • BBQs, including gas, propane or charcoal, should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings.
  • Never use BBQs inside garages, even if the garage doors are open. If used in an enclosed space (garage, house, shed), carbon monoxide (CO) – an odourless, colourless, poisonous gas – will gather and reach dangerous exposure levels, which can lead to serious health effects, or even death.
  • Propane cylinders may not be used or stored inside any structure.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-fired heaters are equipped with a safety tip-over shut-off feature and bear the mark of an accredited testing agency.
  • Keep portable heaters at least one metre (three feet) away from anything that can burn, including curtains, wall coverings, upholstery, clothing and people.
  • Keep all doorways and halls clear. In case of fire, a heater should not be blocking your escape.
  • Place heaters in areas where they will not get bumped or knocked over.
  • Prevent burns by keeping children away from portable heaters which can reach extremely high surface temperatures.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 from outside the building.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas to alert you to a fire in your home. 
  • Test your smoke and CO alarms monthly by pressing the test button to ensure they work.
  • Develop and practise a home fire escape plan with your family.