Few things can match the fun and enjoyment of a barbecue with family and friends. Practice sensible, safe barbecuing and your summer get together will be a sizzling success.
At the start of the barbecue season, do this three-step safety check of your BBQ:
- Clean: Use a pipe cleaner or wire to make sure the burner ports are free of rust, debris, spider webs or other debris.
- Check: Examine the hose leading from the tank to the burners. Replace if cracked or damaged.
- Test: Find leaks by applying 50/50 solution of water and dish soap to propane cylinder connections and hoses. If bubbles appear, tighten the connection and/or replace the damaged parts and retest.
When you take your propane tank to be refilled, transport it safely by placing it in a secure, upright position with the safety valve on top. It is preferable to transport it on the floor of the passenger compartment. Make sure the windows of the vehicle are open. NOTE: Propane cylinders must be inspected and requalified or replaced every 10 years!
Time to Get Cooking
Always be careful when igniting a barbecue. Take these steps in the right order:
- Open the hood.
- Open the valve at the cylinder.
- Turn on the barbecue controls and light the burner using the igniter button. If there is no igniter, insert the flame from a long match or barbecue lighter through the side burner hole. Light the match before you turn on the gas at the grill controls.
Even a perfectly functioning barbecue needs to be handled with care. Here is a list of safety tips:
- Keep loose clothing away from a hot barbecue;
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance;
- When finished, turn the gas valve off first, then turn off the burner controls, so that no gas is left in the connecting hose; and
- Allow the barbecue to cool completely before closing the cover.
- Leave the barbecue unattended when in use;
- Barbecue in an enclosed space, such as a garage or tent;
- Allow grease to build up on the burners or at the base of the barbecue as this could cause a grease fire;
- Throw water on a grease fire – this will only spread the flame; or
- Position your barbecue too close to wooden fences or walls. Make sure the area behind your barbecue is free of combustible material, since this is where hot gases escape.