Propane Grilling Safety
You know it’s springtime when you start to smell backyard barbecues. Not too hot, not too cold, spring is a great time to get outside and enjoy a tasty grilled meal.
Outdoor grilling is a spring and summer must-have. But, you don’t want to make it memorable for the wrong reasons.
According the NFPA propane grilling safety (National Fire Protection Association):
- In 2012, 16,900 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.
- One of every six (16%) home structure fires in which grills were involved in ignition, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill.
- Overall, leaks or breaks were factors in one of every five reported grill fires.
- Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts.
- July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by May, June, and August.
- 8,800 home fires are started by grills each year, on average.
Propane Gas Grill Do’s and Don’ts
In order to avoid a barbecue blaze, follow these propane grilling do’s and don’ts:
Propane Grilling Do’s
- Always use the grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Always follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials and manuals in a safe, accessible place.
- Make sure the grill burner controls are turned off and keep the cylinder valve fully closed when not in use.
- Make sure the gas grill is shut off and completely cooled before covering it after use.
- Always use or store cylinders in an upright, vertical position. Be sure to store them outdoors away from sources of ignition (i.e. heat, matches, or lighters).
- When a cylinder is refilled, have your Delaware Propane Supplier check for dents, damage, rust, or leaks.
- After filling, take the cylinder home immediately. While transporting, keep the vehicle ventilated with the cylinder valve closed and plugged or capped.
- When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags, or obtain protective fitting caps from the propane gas retailer to keep out dirt, insects, and moisture.
- Before lighting a propane gas grill burner, test the gas fittings for leaks. The NFPA provides this leak detection solution:
Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Propane Grilling Don’ts
- Do not bring cylinders indoors or into an enclosed space such as a garage.
- Do not smoke while handling the propane cylinder.
- Do not leave the cylinder in a vehicle.
- Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
- Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
- Do not use, store, or transport a cylinder where it could be exposed to high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders under or near the grill).
For a couple more propane grilling safety tips, take a look at the NFPA‘s safety tips on grilling:
For more information on propane grilling safety, read the CPSC’s (Consumer Product Safety Commission) latest propane safety standards and our own Propane Safety Page.
We also wanted to share this great trick for estimating how much propane you have left in your tank:
Propane isn’t just for grilling in the spring and summer. If you are interested in a clean and energy-efficient energy source for hot water and home heating, call Boulden Brothers Propane at (800) 296-2553. You can also read our propane blog archives for more information.
We are continuing our tradition of supporting The Ronald McDonald House by giving a penny per gallon sold to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, where we personally witnessed the love and support they give to family members of ill children. In fact, with your help, we recently gave them a check for over $5,900.