Propane Safety Tips for Summer Cookouts
Grill and Chill Safely
We wait a long time for summer to arrive in Vermont, and when it finally does come our way, everyone wants to make the most of it! Making your backyard, patio, or deck a welcoming space for family and friends is easy with propane. This versatile fuel can power all sorts of backyard appliances including grills, deck and patio heaters, pool and spa heaters, insect traps, firepits, and fireplaces to name just a few.
Important Safety Facts For Operating a Grill
But before you get the party started, make sure you know these important facts about propane safety and how to protect your home and loved ones:
- Propane-burning equipment like grills need to be kept away from anything combustible like fences, deck railings, siding, and materials that emit combustible fumes, such as paint or other finishing products.
- Keep your grill, propane deck or patio heaters, firepit, or fireplace at least three feet away from all doors and windows on your home as well as 10 feet away from any air intake devices. This reduces the risk of propane vapor getting into your home.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from outdoor propane equipment—especially when it’s in use.
Follow Best Practices
- Did you know that one out of five grill fires are caused by grease? Empty the grease trap after each use and clean your entire grill inside and out regularly to avoid a grease fire.
- Keep the grill lid open until you are sure the grill is fully lit.
- NEVER use your propane BBQ grill indoors or in an enclosed or covered area like a garage. Carbon monoxide can build up, which can be potentially lethal. Because carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless, you won’t be able to tell if there’s too much until it’s too late.
- Place your grill on steady, level ground rather than a grassy, uneven surface.
- NEVER leave a lit grill unattended. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the grill or designate someone to bring supplies out to you.
- Keep a working fire extinguisher nearby and be sure you know how to use it.
- If the igniter on your grill is broken, don’t use it. Consider buying a grill with automatic ignition.
- Make sure the gas grill’s burner controls and the propane cylinder valve are turned off when you finish cooking.
Transport & Store Properly
- When exchanging or refilling your propane cylinder, do NOT leave it in the car for long periods of time, especially during hot weather. If you can’t do your cylinder exchange in one quick trip, plan your errands so that the last stop is at a propane exchange site before heading home.
- Always keep tanks upright, whether they’re empty or full. Propane can leak from a sideways tank.
- Do NOT smoke when handling or near propane cylinders.
- Having a backup cylinder is smart, but make sure they are always stored outdoors. Never keep them indoors or in a garage, carport, shed, or sunporch. (Or you can eliminate the need for cylinders with a built-in grill and automatic delivery service!)
Make sure nothing ruins your summer fun. Have your outdoor propane appliances inspected and serviced every year by a professional propane service technician. Make sure to also clean and inspect your equipment frequently throughout the summer to spot any potential signs of problems. Have questions about propane safety?
Contact Junction Fuels today. We’re glad to answer all your questions.