Ah, there it is — the tantalizing aroma of hot dogs, hamburgers and lots of other yummy foods sizzling on the grill. Nothing says SUMMER IS HERE better than an estimated 84 million American grill-owning households cranking up their backyard barbeques for festive family gatherings, community celebrations or just a quiet dinner at home. So grab those funky aprons and your favorite barbeque sauce but be safe as you enjoy one of America’s favorite summer pastimes — outdoor grilling.
Know How to Use, Clean and Store Your Grill Properly
Rules of Engagement
- Start smart by following all manufacturer’s instructions and warnings when assembling and/or operating your grill.
- Only grill outside in open areas – not in a garage, under eaves or other enclosures, or near siding, deck railings or anything flammable.
- Set up your grill away from playing fields, lawn games or any other high-traffic areas.
It's Show Time!
- Keep the lid open when lighting to prevent an explosion from gas buildup.
- Stay close to your grill when in use, and keep children clear with a three-foot “kid-free zone.
- Use long-handled tools to prevent burns, and tuck in loose clothing.
- House flare-ups with sprits of water on a charcoal grill, but not on a gas grill. For a gas grill, turn the gas down or off.
- Have baking soda on hand to control a more serious grease fire, but know where a fire extinguisher is, just in case.
- When done cooking, shut off the gas supply, then turn the burners to “off.”
Keeping It All Together
- Mechanical failure is the leading cause of grill fires. So check your grill and propane tank regularly for wear, particularly for cracked hoses, broken fittings, dents and other corrosion.
- Remove grease or fat buildup from trays below the grill regularly.
- Rotten egg, skunk or dead animal smells can mean propane is leaking; turn off the supply valve if you can do so safely, tell everyone to leave the area, and call the fire department.
- Transport propane cylinders securely and upright in a well-ventilated area of your vehicle, and never leave a bottle inside the car on a hot day.
- Never store propane indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed or tent.