It’s Summertime and the Grilling Is Easy

Safety tips for grilling without burning the house down.

BBQ grillEvery summer, Americans across the country fire up their liquid propane (LP) or natural gas grills at the start of “barbecuing season.”  But before starting the grill, there are several safety precautions to keep in mind.  By following these guidelines, you’ll help prevent possible gas explosions or fires.

LP gas/liquid propane and natural gas are flammable. Many accidents occur after the grill has been unused over a period of time or after a grill’s LP gas container has been refilled and reattached.

We share the following tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep you and your home safe during the barbequing season. 

Check the Grill at the Start of the Season

  • Check the Venturi tube annually for blockage by insects, spiders, or food drippings. Clear any blockage, either with a pipe cleaner or with a wire. Push any blockages through the tube to the main part of the burner.
  • Check the grill’s hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Make sure there aren’t sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Make sure hoses are as far away from the hot surface as possible. Make sure to keep hoses away from areas where grease could drip on them. If you can’t move hoses, have a heat shield installed.
  • Check for LP gas leaks whenever you reconnect the grill to the LP gas container or if you smell gas. To check for leaks, open the LP gas supply valve fully, and apply a soapy solution (one part water, one part liquid detergent) with a brush at connection points. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Turn off the LP gas and tighten the connection. If this does not stop the leak, close the container valve, and take the grill to your LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.
  • If a leak is detected, don’t attempt to light the grill until the leak has been repaired. If you are using the grill, turn off the LP gas.

Safe Grill Usage Tips

  • Make sure there are no lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames near a leaking grill.
  • Never use a grill indoors due to carbon monoxide (CO) and fire hazards. And use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn.
  • Always follow the instructions that accompany the grill.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Keep children away from the grill. The outside surface of the grill can get hot and burn when touched.
  • Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.
  • If the grill’s flame goes out, turn off the gas supply at the propane tank. Propane gas can build up underneath the grill racks and pose a dangerous explosion hazard. Open the grill lid and wait at least 5 to 10 minutes for the gas to dissipate before restarting the grill.

LP GAS CONTAINER TIPS

 When Storing:

  • Always keep containers upright.
  • Never store a spare LP gas container under or near the grill.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never use or store an LP gas container indoors.

When Transporting:

  • Transport the container in a secure, upright position.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk.

When Refilling:

  • Have the container refilled only by your LP gas dealer or by a qualified service station operator. DO NOT FILL THE CONTAINER YOURSELF. Consider using a cylinder exchange.

When Connecting:

  • Remove the container valve plug from the container valve.
  • Thread the container connector securely into the container valve outlet (turn counterclockwise).
  • Tighten, but do not use excessive force.
  • After connected, check for leaks.

When Disconnecting:

  • Before disconnecting, turn off the grill’s burner and container valve.
  • Disconnect the container (turn clockwise).
  • Place the container valve plug securely into the container valve outlet.

TIPS FOR PURCHASING A GRILL OR LP GAS CONTAINER

  • Buy grills and containers that bear the mark of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory

Printable CPSC Gas Grill Fact Sheet