Barbeque Grill Safety

Winston-Salem, NC 6/30/2015

Each year about 1,000 fires/explosions occur in the U.S. with gas grills, causing injuries. Many of the accidents happen the first time a grill is ignited for the season or after the grill's gas container is refilled and reattached.

Before you plan your next outdoor cookout, review these safety tips:

Gas Grills

  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Make sure your grill’s propane tank has three-prong gas valve handle. As of April 1, 2002, the three-prong design replaces a five-prong handle as the safety standard.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Always keep propane gas containers upright.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
  • Make sure your spark igniter is consistently generating a spark to create a flame and burn the propane gas. If the flame is not visible, the heavier-than-air propane gas may be escaping and could cause an explosion.
  • Never bring the propane tank into the house.
  • When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.
  • Keep children and pets far away from grills.

Charcoal Grills

Keep in mind that charcoal, when burned in grills, produces carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year hundreds of people die as a result of CO fumes from charcoal being burned indoors, or in a poorly ventilated areas. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers.
  • Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.
  • Charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished - do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

Please contact our agency with further questions.

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