According to the National Fire Protection Association, 10,000+ American households each year experience home/outdoor grill-related fires. To maximize safety for gas grills, check your gas cylinder hose, valve, and regulator assembly for leaks with the “soapy water test” (YouTube can help):
- Make sure the valve of the gas tank cylinder is closed.
- Coat the entire hose assembly with soapy water (spray
- bottles work well).
- Open the valve of your gas cylinder without turning
- on your grill to pressurize the hose.
- If bubbles form anywhere, you have a leak. Shut off the cylinder valve and get your grill serviced.
- Check for leaks at the beginning of grill season and with each replacement/refill of the gas tank.
When turning on the gas, the grill lid should be open (to avoid gas buildup). If you smell gas and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and get the grill serviced. If you smell gas while cooking, call the fire department immediately (don’t move the grill). After cooking, double-check that the valve is completely closed.
For charcoal grills, use only lighter fluid to light charcoals, and never add it to already flaming or hot coals. Place lighter fluid far from heat sources.
Inspect the grill for rust damage. Hot coals may fall through holes and become loose cannons. Place any grill on a level surface, at least 10 feet away from buildings and deck railings, and don’t use under overhangs, near tree branches, or in a tent or garage. Never leave a grill unattended; keep young kids and pets at a distance. And remember, charcoal grills remain hot for hours after use. Clean grills after each use, and store them away from the house.
Have a safe and scrumptious grilling season!