Did you know that there are an average of 10,600 fires caused by outdoor grills each year? They cause $149 million annually in direct property damage and are responsible for 10 death and 160 injuries.
Don’t become part of those statistics! Knowledge can help you avoid a dangerous situation like this, and we have put together important propane safety tips and information to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
What to do if you have a grill fire
Don’t panic. Knowing what you need to do will help you with this step.
Turn off the burners on the grill and, if you can safely get to it, the supply valve on your propane cylinder. If you can, remove the food from the grill.
DO NOT try to put out a grill fire with water. This will make the flames more intense and spread the burning grease to a larger area. If you do not have a fire extinguisher handy, put baking soda, salt, or sand on the fire to smother the flames.
Close the grill lid and vents to help starve the fire of oxygen. If the fire is still expanding or has reached the gas tank, evacuate the area immediately and call 911.
How to put out a grease fire
The best way to stop a grease fire in your grill is to not let it happen in the first place. These prevention tips can help you avoid a grill fire.
Clean your entire grill regularly. Give it a thorough cleaning at the start and end of every grilling season, as well as at least once a month during grilling season. Popular Mechanics offers complete directions on grill cleaning.
Do a quick cleaning of your grill after every use. Don’t leave food crusted on the grates, as they can be fuel for a grill fire. While the grill is still hot, use a grill brush or scraper to get the food off before it hardens on the grates. Empty and clean the grease trap.
Place your grill in a safe place. Yes, it’s convenient to have the grill right by the back door. But grills should be placed at least five feet from any combustibles such as siding, deck railings, plants, and furniture. Also, make sure your grill is on a level surface to keep it from tipping over.
Propane Grill safety checklist
There are some grilling safety best practices so you can enjoy grilling knowing that you can do everything possible to keep things safe.
Have a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling. It is recommended that you use a Class B (for flammable gas or oil) or Class K (for grease fires). If you have questions, get in touch with your local fire department for further guidance. Also, keep your cellphone handy. This is important in case you do have a fire or other grill-related emergency and need to call 911.
Open your grill before lighting it. The gas can accumulate under the closed lid and cause the lid to blow off when ignited.
Never leave your grill unattended. Bring all your food, sauces, grilling utensils, and other necessities to the grill before you turn it on.
Maintain a safe clearance. One of the leading causes of property damage from grill fires is the grill being too close to combustibles. There should be a clear space of at least three feet around the grill.