Sound Advice – Backyard Grill Safety Tune-up
Spring is an excellent time to get a head start on preparations to enjoy weekends and holidays with family and friends. A good place to start is with your gas grill. Today’s elaborate grills can be a major investment. If it turns out you need to replace yours, you’ll have time to budget for a newer, safer model.
How to Inspect Your Gas Grill
While your grill is still in your basement or garage, conduct a grill safety inspection so you can make any repairs before you want to use it outside.
- Check the gas grill connection line between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking.
- Do not use a match to check for gas leaks. Fill a spray bottle with warm soapy water. Then spray the hoses and look for bubbles created by leaking gas. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas, and don’t use the grill until it is fixed.
If your hoses look brittle or show any sign of cracking, replace them before they fail. Check also for significant rust on the frame. If there’s too much rust, your grill may be unstable.
Other Grill Safety Tips
- Never leave a grill unattended.
- Designate your grilling area a “No Play Zone” for kids and pets.
- Position your grill at least 3 feet from the house, shrubs, branches, play objects and other flammable objects in the yard. Do not operate on exterior balconies, unenclosed porches, or under eaves.
- Do not bring your lit barbecue grill indoors or into any unventilated space; it will become both a fire and carbon monoxide hazard!
- Practice the 10-5 rule. If the grill doesn’t start in 10 seconds, turn off the gas, wait 5 minutes with the lid open to dissipate gas before trying again to light it.
- If you have a charcoal grill, always use the proper starter fluid.