Barbecue Safety Tips


General Outdoor Grilling Safety

  • Never use a grill indoors.  Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building.
  • Do not use the grill in a garage or breezeway, or under a carport, porch, awning, or any other covering that can catch fire.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.
  • Establish a 3 foot (1 meter) safety zone around the grill and keep children and pets out of this area to prevent burns and other accidents.
  • Be cautious of overhead obstructions, including tree branches, while grilling.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy while grilling and know how to use it.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the grill.

Gas Grill Safety

  • Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or grease.  Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage and push it through to the main part of the burner.
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.  Make sure there are no kinks in the hose or tubing.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Replace scratched or frayed hose connectors, which can eventually leak gas.
  • Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions, if you smell gas or when you reconnect the propane tank to the grill.
  • Never use a match to check for leaks.  If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.
  • Keep lit cigarettes or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Do not attempt to relight the tank valve or the appliance yourself.  Take it to your local home  improvement store, hardware store, or a qualified appliance repair person.
  • Use caution when storing your propane tank.  Always keep the container upright.  Never store a spare tank indoors or under or near the grill.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids such as gasoline, pain thinner, or kerosene near the grill.
  • To avoid accidents while transporting a propane tank, always transport it in a secure upright position.
  • Be sure your propane tank has an overfill prevention device.  As of April 2002, all tanks sold or refilled are required to have this device to protect against propane leaks that may cause fire or explosion.
  • Never keep a filled tank in a hot vehicle or car trunk.  Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
  • Use extreme caution and always follow the manufacturer's instructions when connecting or disconnecting a propane tank to your grill.

Charcoal Grill Safety

  • Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.  Since burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide, do not store the grill indoors until the charcoal is completely extinguished.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.  Both can explode.
  • Never attempt to restart the flame by adding additional lighting fluid to an already lit grill.
  • If you use an electrical charcoal lighter, use only a UL listed lighter.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water nearby to handle flare-ups while grilling.
  • Be sure to place your grill on a flat, level surface so it won't tip over.
  • Wait until the coals have completely cooled (may take a few hours) before disposing of them.
  • Remember, coals get hot- up to 1000°F.  Use insulated flame-retardant mitts when cooking or handling any part of the grill.  Also use long-handled barbecue tongs and utensils for safe handling of food and coals.

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