As barbecue season begins, I want to remind everyone how important it is for the entire family to be savvy about outdoor cooking. All grills, gas and charcoal, can be extremely dangerous if not cared for and used properly.
All outdoor grills have the potential to lead to tragedy when carelessness causes structural fires or serious burns to people and pets. According to the Insurance Information Institute, backyard barbecues result in more than 2-thousand fires, over 300 grill related injuries and 3 or more deaths each year.
- Follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials handy.
- If the igniter no longer works, replace it in accordance with the grill manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep the top of the grill open until you are sure the grill is lit, even if you have an electronic ignition.
- Cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep them clean when the grill is not in use.
- Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position. 6
- If you smell gas, and it is safe to do so, turn off the cylinder valve, turning it to the right (clockwise). If you are unable to turn off the valve, immediately leave the area and dial 911 or call your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your grill and cylinder.
- Consult a qualified service technician if you are having grill or propane cylinder problems.
- Keep your grill clean to prevent flare-ups.
- Check for knots or kinks in gas hoses.
- Make sure the area around the grill is free of leaves or anything else that could ignite.
- Smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
- Use matches or lighters to check for propane leaks.
- Pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
- Allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
- Use, store, or transport propane cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
- Transport propane cylinders in your trunk. Instead, keep in a cool place, such as an air-conditioned car.
- Move a lit grill.
- Leave a lit grill unattended.
- Attempt to adjust any gas containers or hoses while the grill is lit.
- Grill in a covered patio or garage, even with the doors open, because gasses can build up.