Gas grill safety tips

Backyard barbecues are a warm weather tradition. While some brave men and women grill year-round, many reserve their outdoor cooking to those times of year when the weather fully cooperates.

The laid back vibes of spring, summer and early fall can make it easy for grillmasters to overlook safety when cooking outside. But grilling requires that cooks prioritize safety.

While both charcoal and gas grills can cause fires, the National Fire Protection Association says gas grills contributed to four out of five gas grill fires. The NFPA also notes that many of those gas grill-related fires can be traced to leaks or breaks in the hoses. The following are a handful of ways cooks can safeguard themselves, their families, their grills, and their homes against leaks or breaks in their gas grill hoses.

· Inspect hoses at the start of each grilling season. Leaks, breaks or cracks in the hoses may occur when moving grills into the garage or shed for the winter. So it’s a good idea to inspect the hoses at the start of each season before using the grill for the first time each year.

· Employ soap and water if you suspect but cannot find any leaks. Travelers Insurance recommends that men and women who suspect a leak is present but cannot find one apply a light solution of soap and water to the hose. If there is a leak, bubbles will appear.

· Do not turn on the gas if the grill lid is closed. If the gas is turned on while the lid is closed, gas can build up inside and potentially ignite, causing the lid to blow off. So men and women should always make sure the lids of their grills are open before turning on the gas.

· Stop grilling if you smell gas and see no flame. If there is no flame, but you still smell gas, turn off the tank and grill immediately. Some leaks may cease, at which time men and women can take their tanks to be serviced. If the leak persists, contact the local fire department.

· Turn off the grill and cease cooking if you smell gas while food is on the grill. The odor of gas while cooking is another telltale sign of a leak, even if there is a flame and food appears to be cooking. Contact the local fire department if such a situation presents itself.

· Close the valve after cooking. Always make sure the valve is tightly closed after cooking.

· Store tanks away from the house. Propane tanks should always be stored away from the house. Near the end of each grilling season, homeowners may want to use what’s left of the gas in their propane tanks so they don’t have to store tanks over the winter.

Grilling with gas can make for delicious meals, but men and women must prioritize safety around their gas grills to prevent fires and other accidents.

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