Each year about 600 fires/explosions occur with gas grills, causing injuries. Many of the accidents happen the first time a grill is ignited for the season or after the grill's gas container is refilled and reattached.
Before you plan your next outdoor cookout, review these safety tips:
- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
- Make sure your grill’s propane tank has a three-prong gas valve handle. As of April 1, 2002, the three-prong design replaced a five-prong handle as the safety standard.
- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
- Always keep propane gas containers upright.
- Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
- Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
- Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
- Make sure your spark igniter is consistently generating a spark to create a flame and burn the propane gas. If the flame is not visible, the heavier-than-air propane gas may be escaping and could cause an explosion.
- Never bring the propane tank into the house.
- When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.
- Keep children and pets far away from grills.
Charcoal Grill Safety Tips
Keep in mind that charcoal when burned in grills produces carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year about 17 people die as a result of CO fumes from charcoal being burned indoors or in a poorly ventilated area. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:
- Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers.
- Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.
- Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.