Stay Safe When Grilling - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Grill Safety

Stay Safe When Grilling

Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

  • 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, breezeway, carport, porch or under an awning or any under covering that can catch fire.
  • Never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are present.
  • Be cautious of overhead obstructions, including tree branches, while grilling.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy when grilling and know how to properly use it.
  • Always follow the manufacturers' instructions that accompany the grill.

Gas Grill Safety Tips

  • 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 thorough 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 connectors, which can eventually leak gas.
  • Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions, if you smell gas or when you reconnect the grill to the propane tank. 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, matches, or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. Take it to your local home improvement store, hardware store or a qualified appliance repairperson.
  • You should use caution when storing your propane tank. Always keep the containers upright. Never store a spare tank under or near the grill or indoors. Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • To avoid accidents while transporting propane tanks, you should transport it in a secure upright position.
  • Be sure your propane tank has an over-fill prevention device. As of April 2002, all tanks sold or refilled are required to have the device to protect against propane leaks that may cause fire or explosions.
  • Never keep a filled tank 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.
  • You should use extreme caution and always follow the manufacturers' instructions when connecting or disconnecting a propane tank to your grill.

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips

  • Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided. Since charcoal produces carbon monoxide fumes, do not store the grill indoors until the charcoal is completely extinguished.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. Both can cause an explosion.
  • Never attempt to restart the flame by adding additional lighting fluid to an already lit grill.
  • If you use an electrical charcoal lighter, only use 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 degrees 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.

Source: National Safety Council

We cook up something like three (b) billion meals a year on barbecue grills -- and, in the process, start more than a thousand house fires.John Drengenberg is the consumer affairs director with Underwriters Laboratories, the outfit that puts those U-L marks on safe products, and he says you'd be surprised how many people don't know to keep their grills outdoors. He says they might wheel the grill into the garage to stay out of the rain or the sun, and that's not a good idea because a barbecue can flare up and touch off a fire.

To get a charcoal grill going, use only starter fluid, never gasoline or kerosene. Those fuels can give you a big flare-up or even an explosion.

Drengenberg says gas grills should be checked out periodically. Make sure the hose connecting the propane tank to the grill is O-K, with no breaks or cracks. Also test to see that all the connections are tight. And never use a match to check for leaks.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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