State Fire Marshal Encourages Taking Grilling and Campfire Precautions

Contact: Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

May 29, 2008 - Now that the grilling and camping season is here, it's time to remember to use common sense and safety when grilling out or huddling around a campfire.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal, which is housed in the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG), offers a few grilling and campfire safety tips to follow: 

  • Keep children at a safe distance from campfires and grills 
  • Wear close-fitting clothing - no scarves or skirts. 
  • Make sure nothing flammable is nearby.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water handy at all times.
  • Keep at least a 3-foot distance between the campfire or grill and anything else. Make sure there's no dry vegetation nearby. 
  • Put out all fires before leaving the campsite or grill area.

Taking these extra precautionary common sense steps, grill and campfire injuries can be reduced - or more importantly, avoided altogether.

"The leading factor in charcoal grill fire injuries is the result of something as simple as flammable items being too close to the grill. So it's important to think safety first before lighting a grill," said DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley. "I'm sure consumers would also be surprised to find that gas grills aren't any safer than other grills or campfires - in fact six out of seven grill fires involved a gas grill. The leading contributing factor was a leak or break in hoses or other equipment so it's important to maintain gas grills to protect yourself and your family."

For general grilling safety tips, audio clips, statistical information, and a slide show on how to prepare your gas grill for grilling, visit