Summer is the time to dust off the gas grill in preparation for barbeque season. If you plan to treat your family and friends to a backyard feast, don’t spoil the day with a major flare up. According to a 2013 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report on cooking equipment fires, gas grills were involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires from 2007-2011, a higher number than for charcoal grills.
Inspect Your Equipment
Be sure your grill is working properly. Propane gas hose leaks or breaks are the leading causes of gas grill fires. Inspect the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year (apply a light soap and water solution to the hose and check for bubbles released from a leak), and check the entire grill regularly.
NFPA Advice for Safe Grilling
The NFPA suggests the following when grilling:
- Stay alert when grilling.
- Don’t leave the cooking/grill area unattended.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Remove flammable materials from around the grill.
- Only use propane BBQ grills outdoors.
- Place grills well away from the home and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Always be sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting.
- If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
- If you smell leaking gas, turn the gas tank and grill off and immediately move away from the grill (if the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again; if the leak does not stop, call the fire department).
For additional information, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling.