Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)–June 22, 2009. Each year about 600 fires/explosions occur with gas grills, causing injuries. Many of the accidents happen the first time a grill is ignited for the season or after the grill’s gas container is refilled and reattached. Before you plan your next cookout, review these safety tips from the Park Forest Fire Department:
- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
- Make sure your grill’s propane tank has a three-prong gas valve handle. As of April 1, 2002, the three-prong design replaced a five-prong handle as the safety standard.
- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
- Always keep propane gas containers upright.
- Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
- Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
- Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
- Make sure your spark igniter is consistently generating a spark to create a flame and burn the propane gas. If the flame is not visible, the heavier-than-air propane gas may be escaping and could cause an explosion.
- When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.
- Keep children and pets far away from grills.
Keep in mind that charcoal, when burned in grills, produces carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year about 17 people die as a result of CO fumes from charcoal being burned indoors or in poorly ventilated areas. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:
- Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers.
- Charcoal should never be used indoors even if ventilation is provided.
- Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.