Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor cooking. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.
Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
Do not overfill the propane tank.
Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire.
Never leave a barbecue grill unattended.
Place the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Don't use or store on a porch or balcony.
Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking food.
Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
Use only outdoors! If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, barbecue grills pose both a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide.
Purchase the proper starter fluid and store out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
Dispose of charcoal coals only after they are cool. Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals. Place the container away from anything that can burn. Never empty coals directly into a trash can.
Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
Turn off the propane tank and grill.
If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). OPDs shut off the flow of propane before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. OPDs are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.
Use only equipment bearing the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers' instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
Light a propane grill only with the cover open.local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.
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