Propane Gas Grilling Safety Tips

Propane gas grills are undoubtedly one of the most popular outdoor appliances used today. Gas grills are replacing charcoal grills in increasing numbers because of their ease of use without the clean-up involved with charcoal grills. LP Gas grills commonly use a portable propane bottle that can easily be re-filled or exchanged for continued enjoyment without the hassle of loading more charcoal and stirring up the ashes. Operating a grill safely will ensure that the food is prepared properly and the grill user is safe from harm.

In an effort to avoid any problems and to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer season, we offer the following   tips:

•    Half of all gas grill home structure fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.

•    Always use your grill outside in a well-ventilated area.  Never bring or store cylinders inside or in an enclosed space such as an enclosed porch or a shed.

•    Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches

•    Use flame-resistant pads underneath the grill.

•    Propane is a liquid hydrocarbon that vaporizes into a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas. In properly maintained and operated systems, propane is completely safe. However, it can be dangerous if an uncontrolled release of propane occurs. In order to detect an uncontrolled release of propane, an odorant (usually ethyl mercaptan) is added to the propane

•    Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.

•    Maintain a three foot safe area around the grill.

•    Do not wear loose fitting clothing while barbecuing.

•    Keep grill covered when not in use however, make sure the grill is turned off and cooled down before covering.

•    Do not smoke in or near propane cylinders.

•    Check the gas cylinder hose and connections for leaks before using it for the first time each season. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose and fittings will reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles. If you determine that your grill has a gas leak either through the bubble test or if you smell gas and there is no flame, turn off the tank and contact a qualified propane contractor. If the leak persists with the tank off, leave the area and call the fire department immediately.

•    Never use matches or a lighter to check for leaks!!

•    Always use and store propane cylinders in an upright, vertical position, store tanks away from all potential sources of ignition.

•    Make sure the grill burner controls are turned off and keep the cylinder valve closed when not in use.

•    Use long handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from the heat and flames while cooking.

•    Never leave the grill unattended while in use.

•    Periodically remove grease and fat that has built up in the trays below the grill as eventually it will ignite from the heat of the grill.

•    At the end of the season, after disconnecting the propane tank, cover the disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags or protective fitting caps to keep out dirt, moisture and insects

•    If you repaint your barbecue shell, choose a high heat, fire-resistant point. If you repaint your gas cylinder, use only white paint.  NEVER PAINT A TANK BLACK OR SIMILAR COLOR. IT IS ILLEGAL AND THE EXTRA HEAT ABSORBED BY THE TANK CAN CAUSE OVER-PRESSURIZATION.

•    If there is a significant and uncontrollable release of gas or a fire, call the fire department immediately and move all people and pets away from the area.

Happy Grilling!!!

  1. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I are considering installing a built in propane grill, but are not used to using propane. To be honest, I had not heard of flame resistant pads. Are those meant to be underneath the propane itself?

  2. Keeping your grill and propane in a well ventilated area is a really great idea. A friend of mine often grills on his porch and it really helps with keeping the smoke from the burgers away from everyone. I’ll have to move my grill and propane tanks a little more out in the open for this reason. Thanks for the awesome information!

  3. Faylinn says:

    I had no idea that it could be problematic to smoke near propane cylinders. My husband always smokes while he is using the grill, which has a tank hooked up to it. If there is already smoke coming out of the grill, why should he not be able to smoke a cigar or cigarette near one?

  4. Amanda Drew says:

    That’s a really good idea to check the propane tank every new season for leaks so that you can call a contractor and turn it off. I’m thinking about getting a propane based grill for a while now, and maybe I should do it. I should find a contractor though to help me with the getting the fuel and then so that I can be safe later.

  5. Scott Adams says:

    I like that you talked about making sure you check the hose for any leaks before you use the propane tank. I have been thinking about using propane for my grill and I wasn’t sure how to do so correctly. I can see how it would be good to check for any leaks so you don’t accidentally get fire near the hose and ignite the whole tank.

  6. Dan says:

    We have a propane gas grill, and we’re planning on using it these coming summer months. Thanks for the tip on checking the gas cylinder hose and connections for leaks before using it. Periodically removing grease in the trays below will also help in avoiding an ignition. Thanks for these helpful tips on using propane gas grill safely!

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  8. Bobby Saint says:

    I like that you share some propane gas grilling safety tips such as always using your grill outside or in an open area. It is recommended that you do your barbecue grilling in an open area a few meters away from your doorstep. This would help prevent any accident that may cause a fire. Also, it’s advisable that you do not let your children come near while you’re grilling to prevent them from getting any cuts or burns. If I were to do some barbecue grilling using propane gas, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

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