Before you fire up the grill this summer, GasTec wants to help you review some important safety tips for using propane fuel.
Location, Location, Location
Make sure you’re grilling in an appropriate place. That means somewhere outdoors in a well-ventilated space. Never grill inside the garage or in the house. Place the grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 27 percent of home structure fires involving grills start on a courtyard, terrace or patio; 29 percent start on an exterior balcony or open porch; 6 percent start in the kitchen.
Check for Leaks
When you take your grill out for the first time after storing it for the winter, check the liquid propane tank for any leaks or general disrepair. If you suspect a leak, turn off all of the grill’s controls and turn the propane tank to the full “on” position. Don’t use a flame to check for gas leaks. Use a solution of dishwashing soap and water, and spray it on all of the propane tank’s fittings. Look for any bubbles where gas is escaping. If you find a leak, get it serviced by our propane professionals or exchange the tank.
Chain of Command
Once you’re ready to cook, turn on the propane tank first, then the grill. When you’re done, turn the propane off first and then turn off the grill to minimize the amount of residual pressure left in the gas hose. Keep the grill off and propane tank valve closed when not in use.
Better Safe than Sorry
You should always keep some sort of fire extinguishing device nearby when using a grill fueled by propane gas. A commercial fire extinguisher is probably the best bet because it can cover a wider area than conventional extinguishers. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher handy, keep a box of baking soda lying around for grease fires. Sand and even cat litter can also be used to extinguish flames. Worse comes to worst, know where the garden hose is located.
Transporting the Tank
Driving with a propane tank is perfectly fine as long as you’re cautious. Even if the tank is empty, make sure the valve is closed tightly and keep the tank in an upright position. Also, keep the car well-ventilated by cracking the window open. And definitely don’t keep the tank in a hot car for a prolonged period of time.
If storing a gas grill indoors, make sure the propane tank is completely disconnected, removed and stored separately outdoors. Never store a propane tank indoors.
Don’t be Stupid
If you smell gas while you’re cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Also, don’t ever smoke while handling a propane tank.