Thursday , 21 June 2018

Firing Up the Grill? McKinney Fire Department Offers Safety Reminders

Submitted by McKinney Fire Department

Summer has arrived bringing many activities centered on family and friends, outdoor cooking, and other recreational activities.

Outdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook and to spend time with loved ones. But, don’t forget that grills are dangerous. Between 2005 and 2009, there was an average of 3,400 structure fires yearly in the USA involving grills, hibachis, or barbeques. More than half of all home grill structure fires begin on a courtyard terrace, patio, exterior balcony, or open porch.

Grills should be placed well away from any structure, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. A minimum distance of 10 feet is recommended.

The use of grills/smokers is not permitted on apartment balconies or patios. LP (propane) fed grills are permitted only if fire sprinklers are provided for the balcony or patio area.

Grills get very hot and cause many burn injuries, primarily as a result of contact with the appliance, as opposed to flames. Many injuries are sustained while lighting the grill. Children under the age of five are at most risk. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.

For more tips on protecting your loved ones and property from hazards of outdoor grilling, visit the Families and Educators quick link at

Aside from fires in grills, hibachis or barbeques, other types of fires – known as recreational fires – are allowed in McKinney. They are, however, strictly regulated.

Per Ordinance No. 2008-02-012, a recreational fire is an outdoor fire, burning materials other than rubbish, where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height. Recreational fires are for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.

Summer Safety Tips

A permit for a recreational fire is not required; but, it is illegal to have a recreational fire within fifty feet (50′) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is confined to a container approved by the Fire Marshal, i.e., fire pit with a screened cover, chimenea, gas or charcoal grill.

Ordinance No. 2008-02-012 also regulates all open burning in McKinney. Open burning is the burning of materials where products of combustion (smoke, ash, soot) are emitted directly into the air without passing through a stack or chimney. An example of this type of fire would be the burning of leaves, grass clippings, twigs, brush, etc. A permit is required for all open burning.

For safety purposes, the location for open burning shall not be less than five hundred feet (500′) from any structure and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within five hundred feet (500′) of any structure. The only exception to the location mandate is fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.

While an open burning permit may be issued, the Fire Department retains the authority to order the extinguishment of such fires if conditions are determined offensive or objectionable due to smoke or odor emissions, or if local circumstances make such fires hazardous. For additional information on open burning permits visit or call 972-547-2879.

At no time is the burning of trash, debris, or rubbish allowed.

Individuals found in violation of any section of this ordinance may be fined up to two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) per day.

The McKinney Fire Department is your resource for life safety information on a variety of topics. We are available to visit your home for a fire safety survey, to provide educational programs to your business, church, neighborhood HOA or civic group, and to answer your questions. For additional information visit or call 972-547-2893.

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