Don’t get ‘grilled’ on fire safety

by 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Photo by FamVeld /

Spring has arrived! Whether you plan on having a relaxing evening with the family next to the fire pit, or having a barbeque with friends, please follow these Kaiserslautern Military Community Fire Emergency Services safety tips when preparing and using your grill or fire pit.


All barbeque grills must be used outdoors. Residents in Military Family Stairwell Housing are authorized to use propane grills on their balcony, but no smokers or charcoal grills. Carbon monoxide is bad for you!

Check for gas leaks on your propane grill by applying a light soap and water solution to hose connections and watch for bubbles which indicates a leak. Tighten connections or replace the hose.

Keep grill clean by removing excess grease or food buildup, and empty any trays below the grill.

On propane grills, if the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off.  Wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it and/or go get a new bottle of propane.

Only use charcoal starter fluid, no other flammable/combustible liquids. After lighting the fire, NEVER add charcoal starter fluid or any other flammable/combustible liquids. 

When you are finished grilling, ensure the charcoal is cold before properly disposing.

Keep grills 15 feet from anything that can burn, or move those items (Military Family Stairwell Housing balconies are the exception.)

Never leave your grill unattended.  You might burn more than just your food.


Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using and storing fire pits.

Do not use fire pits on balconies or under awnings and roofs.

Choose a spot that’s at least 15 feet from combustible materials.

Your patio or driveway is a great place for your pit, as long as it’s 15 feet away from your home and any combustible materials.  Keep your windows closed to ensure fumes or smoke do not get inside your home.

If your patio is too close to your home, choose a safe site in your yard, and clear a 10-foot diameter around the site by removing any loose grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.  Do not place a fire pit too close to any trees, bushes, or shrubs.

Keep a hose, bucket of water, or shovel nearby.

Ensure your fire pit has an ember screen while in use.

Never leave your fire unattended and ensure it is fully contained, or out, before leaving.

If it is too hot and dry outside, it could be too dangerous to use your fire pit. You can check the following website for the “wildland fire index,” which has a numbering system from 1-5. Simply select “Rhineland-Pfalz” from the drop box and find Kaiserslautern on the chart. If it’s 3 or higher, don’t have a fire!

If you have a fire or other emergency, DIAL DSN 112 or 06371-47-112 from a cell or non DSN line and we’ll be right there!  For any additional questions or concerns, please call our Fire Prevention office at DSN 480-5940 or commercial 06371-47-5940.