Whether you are grilling for the first time or the first time in a long while, it’s a good idea to review the propane gas grill safety tips at the beginning of the BBQ season.
Check Your Grill at the Beginning of Barbecue Season
- Check inside grill. Open the grill lid, and using a flashlight, check inside the grill area to make sure animals haven’t built a nest inside. Take the grate off and remove the burner covers to take a close look.
- Check the burner. Inspect the holes to make sure they’re not rusted out, causing big gaps where there will be excess gas.
- Check the propane tank. Look for visual damage such as dents or cracking. Check the valve and hose line for visual cracks.
- Check the system for leaks. Use a leak detector solution or 50/50 dish soap/water solution to check connections for leaks. Wipe down the cylinder and brush or spray around all the connection joints in the system. Open the cylinder valve a quarter-turn and watch for bubbles, which indicate a leak. If bubbles appear, turn the valve off, tighten the connection and check again.
- Position the grill in a safe location. Keep your grill outdoors and away from the house. Choose a level surface that is clear of outdoor furniture, overhead trees, eave of the house, or other potential fire hazards.
Transporting Propane Cylinders
Unless your grill connects directly into your home’s propane system, you’re likely to use a standard 20-pound propane cylinder to fuel your grill.
When transporting a propane cylinder, place it in the vehicle securely and upright so it can’t fall, shift or roll. (My husband puts our propane tank in a plastic milk crate to transport it. This way it doesn’t roll or move around in the trunk of the car or back of the SUV. There are also propane tank stabilizers.)
Never leave a propane tank in a hot vehicle; always head straight to your destination and remove the cylinder when you arrive. The heat in the car will make the pressure release valve to open and fill your car with propane vapor. If this happens, call the fire department.
Lighting Your Gas Grill
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the booklet that came with your gas grill. If you can’t find it, they always have a copy online.
If your tank is 12 years or older it must be requalified before you can light it. The date is stamped on the metal safety ring around the valve.
Here are some basic guidelines to refresh your grill skills:
- Verify the grill is off. All knobs and switches should be turned to the off position, as well as the valve on the propane tank.
- Ensure a tight connection. When attaching the propane hose to the fitting on your grill, be cautious of cross-threading. Keep twisting by hand until the hose and fitting are as tightly sealed as possible to minimize the chance of leaks.
- Open lid. Never light your propane gas grill with the lid closed as the trapped fumes can ignite and cause an explosion.
- Turn on cylinder valve. Open the valve on the propane tank. Turn on the main control knob for your grill and press the igniter. If you don’t get a flame in 5 seconds, turn the control valve off, leave lid open and let it air out for 15 minutes before relighting.
- Propane smell test. Propane in its natural form is odorless. Rotten egg odor has been added for safety. If you notice a smell, make sure there is no source of flame or heat source. Turn off valve and have your propane tank serviced.
- No smoking. Do not smoke or have an open flame near a propane tank.
- Follow proper lighting procedures. Follow the manufacturer’s lighting instructions to generate a flame. Regardless of the grill model, keep the lid open and avoid leaning over the grill when lighting it.
- Follow proper relighting procedures. If your flame goes out, turn off the gas and refer to your owner’s manual. At a minimum, keep the lid open and wait at least 15 minutes before relighting.
- Be present. Stay close and never leave your grill unattended.
Turning Grill Off After Use
- While the flame is still burning in the grill, with lid open, turn the valve off on the propane tank cylinder.
- Let the system drain of propane until the flame goes out on the burner. (You will hear it.)
- Close control valve on the grill.
- Close barbecue lid.
Storing Propane Cylinders
Your propane cylinder can remain attached to the grill when not in use, but if you have extra cylinders that are not in use, it’s important to store them safely and properly.
Never store a small cylinder inside; it should always be kept outside, never in an enclosed area like a basement, garage, shed or tent.
Choose a location away from potential heat sources over 120 F, such as a stove or fireplace. Never store extra cylinders near the grill.
Keep ignition sources away from the area while handling or transporting a propane cylinder.
Find more tips for grilling safely this summer at propane.com.
Want more? See all of our barbecuing tips & tricks.
Be the neighborhood grillmaster with these BBQ tips & tricks from the pros who know. They show you the one important trick you need to know for grilling burgers, steaks, chicken and more.
Want more? See our BBQ recipes.
Want even more? See our new BBQ recipe & tips.
Sign up for our weekly magazine with all our new recipes, party ideas and ways to put more play in every day.