Propane grills are extremely popular because they provide instant heat and do not need charcoal. Unfortunately, they come with a serious fire hazard risk when not used properly. More than 500 fires are started each year due to the use of propane grills. Note the following safety tips:
- Propane tanks that are not in use should not be stored next to the grill, or near any source of heat. They should also not be stored in your car
- Double check to make sure that the gas is off prior to changing the tank, as well as each time you finish using the grill
- Never re-fill a damaged tank
- Homeowners are not allowed to own more than two 20lb. tanks at one time
- Check for leaks by spraying soapy water over the connections. If you see bubbles, a leak is present
- Make sure all connections are tight before lighting the grill for the first time after it has not been used for some time
- Never light the grill with the lid closed. This could allow propane gas to accumulate and explode
- Once you finish cooking, turn the tank off before turning the controls off.
One of the little known hazards associated with the use of charcoal grills is carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, charcoal grills present a serious fire hazard. The following tips will help keep you safe:
- Charcoal grills should never be used inside the home for any reason. It does not matter if the area is ventilated. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled. Difficulty of detection poses serious risks
- Never add starter fluid to flames
- Allow new coals to soak in started fluid for a few minutes before lighting. This will be enough time for some of the harmful vapors to evaporate
- Grills should never be placed too close to the home or in covered areas
- Never dispose of ashes while they are still warm
- Do not add more than 2" of charcoal to the base.
These are considered to be safer than propane or charcoal grills. The main concern would be with the plug. As electric grills do tend to draw a lot of electricity, never use an inappropriate extension cord to plug the grill in. Only a cord that meets amperage requirements should be used. Consult your owner's manual should you have questions about proper use and requirements.
General Grill Safety
All grills should be placed on level ground or flooring. Failure to do this could result in the grill falling over. Children and pets should not be allowed near any grill when it is in use. Many accidents happen when the grill is left unattended. Should you need to walk away, ask someone to watch the grill while you are gone. Never wear clothing is too loose as it could catch fire. The grill should be cleaned periodically to remove any grease. Finally, never cover or store the grill away until you are certain that it is completely cool.