As grilling season is in full swing, it is important to remember a few safety tips when using a propane gas grill. Last year, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm was badly burned while preparing to cook dinner for her children. After wind blew out the flame, propane gas pooled on her grill and became an explosive fireball when Storm attempted to re-ignite it. She suffered first and second degree burns to her face, neck, chest and hands.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in half of home outdoor grill fires. Gas grills are involved in an average of more than 7,000 home fires each year. In 2011, more than 16,000 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. Almost one-third of the gas grill injuries were burns while lighting the grill.
Keep these tips in mind when using your gas grill:
•· Always follow the grill manufacturer's instructions and keep written materials accessible.
•· When lighting a grill, keep the top open until you are sure it is lit.
•· Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
•· When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks.
•· Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill burner, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness.
•· Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
•· After filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
•· Do not allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
•· Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
•· Do not use, store, or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
•· When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep clean.