Planning to grill this weekend? Now that it has finally started to warm up, New Yorkers are beginning to enjoy their barbecues and other outdoor amenities. While gas grills, portable fire pits and patio heaters make outdoor spaces comfortable and desirable places to gather, it is important that they are used properly.
The New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) helps consumers keep grilling season safe with an interactive online module on grilling from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) at www.propanesafety.com/grilling-safety. Consumers learn proper grilling procedures using propane, in English or Spanish, and it takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Some key safety tips include the following.
Safety for Kids
The grilling area should be designated as a “No Play Zone” to keep kids and pets away from the equipment. To help everyone learn about gas grill safety, the PERC has launched the fun and interactive website www.propanekids.com.
Always keep the lid open when lighting your grill. Do not close it until you are sure the grill is lit.
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—it can restrict air circulation.
Always use and store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position.
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.
Firing Up The Grill Safely
Never use matches or lighters to check for leaks. Never use starter fluid with propane grills.
Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder. Keep all flammable materials away from 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.
Never attempt to repair, clean or clear blockages on a hot grill.
General Safety Tips
Always have one person in charge of the fire at all times. Never leave a hot grill unattended.
Never attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See a propane gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person. 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 valve by turning it to the right (clockwise). Immediately leave the area and call 911 or your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your cylinder.
Propane is a safe, clean, versatile and highly efficient fuel that can be used for other outdoor products to help enhance the summer season. It is not only the barbecuing fuel of choice, it is also environmentally friendly. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes propane as a clean-burning gas that releases 105 times less carbon monoxide than charcoal.
NYPGA is a member-focused trade organization providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in New York. The association was formed in 1948 to offer opportunities for training.