Propane grill safety tips for this summer

Are you planning to have a barbecue this summer? It's essential to remember that operating a grill involves a risk of injury. The National Fire Protection Association reports that about 16,000 individuals annually are hospitalized due to grill-related injuries. Thermal burns accounted for half of these injuries. The months of July (17%), May (14%), June (14%), and August (13%) experienced the most significant numbers of these injuries.

Only use propane grills outside

For safety reasons, it is advised to keep your propane grill tank in a well-ventilated outdoor area close to your grill. It is not safe to have the grill and propane cylinders indoors or in an enclosed space, like a garage. There are various risks associated with using the grill, such as burning embers or gas flare-ups while trying to light it. Even after turning off the grill, there is a possibility of carbon monoxide due to a leaky gas connection or slow-burning fire from leftover embers.

Place your propane grill away from outside structures

To avoid starting a fire, it is important to keep your propane grill at a safe distance from outside structures such as wood decks, siding, eaves, railings, trees, and even mulch. Even a small spark could ignite any of these materials and cause damage to your home. Therefore, it is recommended to keep your grill at least ten feet away from any structures and be attentive when gas grilling on your wood deck.

Keep your propane gas grill clean and maintained

Remember to clean your gas grill after each use to prevent the buildup of fat and grease. Do not assume that the fire will clean the grill for you. The excess fat and grease can become fuel for a fire that could cause flare-ups or even catch on fire. Also, check for rust and carefully inspect the regulator, hoses, burner parts, air shutter, and valve before using. Gas leaks can be dangerous and cause unexpected flames to shoot out, potentially causing injury or property damage.

Be careful not to overfill your propane cylinder

To avoid any safety hazards, please do not fill an LP cylinder beyond 80% of capacity, as prescribed by the law. An overfilled cylinder may result in difficulty regulating gas flow or, in severe cases, an explosion. Allowing for some space within the cylinder facilitates liquid expansion due to temperature changes caused by heat exposure from the grill or hot weather.

Check for propane gas leaks

Make sure to check for gas leaks each time you connect or disconnect the LP cylinder's regulator. A leak can cause a dangerous ignition when lighting the grill. Before each use, visually check the hose for wear, abrasion or leaks. In case of small leaks that can't be seen, use a soap and water mixture. Never check for gas leaks using a flame. Always fix any leaks you find before using the grill again and never assume they're too small to worry about.

If the burner doesn't ignite, wait to relight

To avoid any danger, do not attempt to continuously light a propane gas grill burner that is not igniting. Although it may be entertaining to observe someone attempt to light the grill, a small gas flare-up could cause severe injuries. It's best to switch off the gas, leave the grill lid open, and allow at least five minutes for the gas to disperse. This procedure should also be followed if the burner goes out while the grill is being used.

Never leave a propane grill unattended

It is important to always attend to a lit grill and not leave it unattended. Even if you have placed it in a secure location, there is a chance that a sudden wind could cause embers and food to scatter and potentially cause a fire. Furthermore, children and pets may accidentally knock the grill over or harm themselves while playing too closely. After you finish cooking, be mindful that the grill will remain hot for at least an hour. Keep it safe until it cools down and is ready to be cleaned, and avoid touching or moving it until it has cooled down completely.

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