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Firing up the grill? 5 Tips to make sure to do it safely

July 24, 2020

Chicken cooking on a grill

Summer is barbecue season, but before you fire up the grill, there are a few easy things you should do to make sure you don’t end up having to call the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS).

Check the connections

You want to make sure to check all connections for your barbecue to ensure they’re tight and there are no leaks in the hose where gas can escape.

The WFPS suggests an easy way to do this is with a mixture of soap and water. You can apply the mixture of to all connections, hoses, and also to the gas cylinder head. You will know if you have a leak if you see bubbles starting to form or grow rapidly. You will want to tighten the connections or have the defective parts replaced by a trained professional.

Light it carefully

If you turn on the gas with the lid closed, the gas can start building up inside and lead to a fire. Make sure to keep the lid open when lighting it.

Only use the spark igniter button or a barbecue lighter to light the grill. You should never hold a match or cigarette lighter over the grill when the propane is on. This could lead to you burning your hand.

Don’t walk away

As with all types of cooking, you never want to leave your grill unattended. Make sure to keep children and pets far away.  

If you smell propane when lighting your barbecue or cooking, turn off the grill immediately and close the tank. If the smell persists, call 911.

Refill your propane properly

If you need to get a propane refill, make sure to keep your tank upright while transporting it and plan to go directly to the refill station and back home.

The tank should have a safety plug and never be left in a closed compartment. It’s also a good idea to keep a window open while driving.

Only use outdoors

Propane barbecues of any size should never be used indoors or in an enclosed space because they produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Only use your barbecue outside in a well-ventilated area, spaced apart from any structures, deck railings, fences, overhanging trees, awnings, or eaves troughs.


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