Grilling Safety Tips from Via Christi Health

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Grill safely with these helpful tips

What's more relaxing than an afternoon barbecue? Whether you're cooking with a gas or charcoal grill, the right precautions can prevent an unfortunate incident. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends these tips for a safe summer of grilling.

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips

Burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can be toxic in a closed environment. On average, 30 deaths and 100 injuries occur each year due to CO poisoning from the use of charcoal grills and hibachis in areas without adequate ventilation.

  • Never burn charcoal indoors, or in other enclosed spaces (such as a vehicle, tent or camper.)
  • Charcoal produces CO fumes until it is completely extinguished.
  • Do not store your grill indoors with freshly-used coals.

Gas Grill Safety Tips

Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is highly flammable. LP gas leaks can result in fire or explosion. When purchasing a grill, consumers should be sure to compare safety features that can help eliminate leak hazards. The following safety checks can reduce the risk of fire or explosion:

  • Check all tubes and hoses for blockage or leaks. Pipe cleaners or wire can be used to clear blockage by food grease, insects or spiders. Avoid sharp bends in the hose or tubing. Cracked or brittle hoses should be replaced.
  • Scratched or nicked connectors should be replaced, as they can leak gas.
  • Keep gas hoses away from hot surfaces and dripping grease. If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.
  • Never bring lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames near a leaking grill.
  • Check for gas leaks when connecting your gas container to your grill, or if you smell gas. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If you detect a leak, turn off the gas immediately. Don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.
  • Never use a grill indoors or under a flammable surface. Garages, breezeways, carports, porches and other such areas can catch fire. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the grill.
  • Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.

LP storage and transportation

  • Always store LP gas containers upright.
  • Do not store spare gas containers or other flammable liquids near the grill. Do not store them indoors.
  • LP gas containers should be transported in a secure, upright position.
  • Never keep a filled gas container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will increase the gas pressure, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Lana Hattar, MD
Pediatric Gastroenterologist
848 N St Francis Ste 3949


Jared Johnson, MD
Family Medicine
13610 W. Maple


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