Summer Fire Safety With Propane

Grease Poster

“Summer lovin’, had me a blast…
Summer lovin’, happened so fast…”

There are so many things to love about summer, and grilling is one of the big ones. But if you don’t take the proper precautions with your propane grill, the blast you have might not be the fun kind.

With 68% of U.S. households owning an outdoor barbecue grill, and more than a third owning more than one grill, it’s safe to say that grilling is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes. Nearly 60% of these grills are gas grills, and summertime is prime time for grilling out – provided you do it safely.

Tell me more, tell me more…

If your grill has been sitting idle over the winter months, you’ll want to take the time to inspect and prep your grill in advance of burgers, hotdogs, and steaks sizzling over the grates.

  • Check your hoses and connections for cracks, brittleness, holes, or leaks
  • Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages
  • Clean drip trays and grates of old grease – but be cautious about using a wire brush to clean the grates
  • Make sure hoses are not in contact with hot surfaces
  • Visually inspect the propane tank for dents, gouges, corrosion, leakage, bulges or excessive rust
  • Do not use any accelerants with your propane grill
  • Close the cylinder valve when not in use
  • Store extra propane tanks in an open area that is shaded or otherwise covered – do not store tanks indoors or in an enclosed space

…Like does he have a car?

When it comes to propane, summer safety also includes the proper way to transport propane tanks to and from your home. Empty or filled, propane tanks should be secured upright in the bed of a truck or – if you don’t have a truck – in the trunk of your car. When transporting a tank, drive directly to your destination and immediately remove the tank from your vehicle, so it doesn’t sit in inside your vehicle; the hot sun beating down on your vehicle can cause the liquid propane to expand inside the grill cylinder. Always close the cylinder valve, and use a cylinder plug regardless whether the tank is filled or empty. Propane contains an added odorant that smells like rotten eggs, so if you’re transporting a cylinder and smell the odorant, stop and remove the cylinder from your vehicle immediately.

Summer sun, something’s begun…

When you light your grill, open the lid and ignite the burner immediately in order to avoid a buildup of gas and a possible flashback. As with any heat source or open flame, take care to keep flammable materials away from your grill, and keep people and pets away from the hot grill while it’s in use. Position your grill away from the house, deck railings, overhangs, or low-hanging branches. And never, ever, use a grill in an enclosed space – even in the open doorway of a garage – to avoid carbon monoxide build up.  ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s owner’s manual, especially the safety precautions and operating instructions.

We’ve got a long and glorious summer ahead of us. With a little advance preparation and the proper safety precautions, your gas grill will be ready for service all summer long.