With Memorial Day around the corner marking the official start of the summer season, everyone is getting ready to heat up the grill. While gas grills, portable fire pits, and patio heaters make outdoor spaces comfortable and desirable places to gather, it’s important that they are used properly. The New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) helps consumers keep grilling season safe with these key tips:
Firing Up The Grill Safely
Never use matches or lighters to check for leaks and never use starter fluid with propane grills. It may seem obvious, but never smoke while handling a propane cylinder, and keep all flammable materials away from the grill. When lighting the grill, if the grill does not ignite within 10 seconds, turn off the gas, keep the lid open and wait five minutes before trying again. If the igniter fails to light the grill after two or three tries, turn off the gas and replace the igniter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Regularly check the tubes that lead into the burner for blockage from insects or food grease and never attempt to repair, clean or clear blockages on a hot grill.
Always keep the lid open when lighting your grill and don’t close it until you are sure the grill is lit. It is extremely important to keep the grill in a well-ventilated outdoor area, at least 10 feet away from the house—and at least three feet away from trees and shrubs. Never cover the bottom of the grill with foil as it can restrict air circulation.
Always be sure to use and store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position and after filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately. While transporting the cylinder, keep your vehicle ventilated and the valve closed or capped. Do not leave the cylinder in your vehicle.
General Safety Tips
When it comes to children, the grilling area should be designated as a “No Play Zone,” keeping kids and pets away from the equipment. Always have one person in charge of the fire at all times and never leave a hot grill unattended.
See a propane gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person and be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.
If you smell gas and you are able to, safely turn off the cylinder vale, turning it to the right (clockwise) and immediately leave the area and call 911 or your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a service technician inspect your cylinder for safe use.
Propane is a safe, clean, versatile and highly efficient fuel that can be used for other outdoor products to help extend the summer season. Propane is not only the barbecuing fuel of choice, it is also environmentally friendly as it is a clean-burning gas that releases 105 times less carbon monoxide than charcoal.
—Submitted by the New York
Propane Gas Association