Barbecue season is here at long last, and that’s certainly a reason to celebrate. However, both propane and natural gas barbecues pose some dangers. It’s important to recognize and avoid these risks before you fire up the grill.
Home Insurance Calgary: Play Safe with Propane Barbecues
With propane barbecues, safety begins when you take your grill out of storage. At this point, before you put on the first burgers of the season you should follow these important tips:
- Perform a visual inspection for any signs of damage.
- Clean the grill and all exposed components.
- Replace rusted or damaged flex hoses, burners and O-rings before using the barbecue.
- Make sure that the barbecue’s gas valves are properly positioned and secured beneath the burners.
- Clean out the tubes between the burner and the valves using a small wire brush.
- Next, check carefully for leaks. Follow these steps before using your barbecue:
- Use a leak-check solution over all valves and connections. You can make your own solution by mixing water and liquid soap in equal proportions. If you notice any bubbles appearing in tested areas, that means a leak is present.
- Fix any leaks you find by shutting down the service valve, tightening the connection as best you can, and redoing the test. If bubbles still appear, have the barbecue professionally serviced.
- Finally, be sure to observe these important precautions when lighting your barbecue:
- Never light a propane barbecue with its lid closed.
- Turn on the lighting components in this order: first, turn on the propane valve; next, turn on the burner; third, press the ignition button or introduce a controlled open flame to the opening in the side of the barbecue.
- When you’re finished, turn off the propane supply first and the burners second. Always let the barbecue cool down and gas to fully escape before replacing the cover.
Home Insurance Calgary: Safety Tips for Natural Gas Barbecues
For natural gas barbecues, many of the same safety precautions apply. You should begin by cleaning the barbecue’s grill and exterior components before connecting it to its fuel supply. Then, replace any cracked or damaged hoses or connections.
One key difference is the quick-disconnect valve, which is a unique feature of natural gas barbecues. You will want to double-check to make sure your quick-disconnect valve has a firm, secure connection to the barbecue itself.
It’s also a good idea to read over your owner’s manual, just to brush up on safety tips and operational guidelines for your specific make and model. When you’ve cleaned the barbecue, and when you’re sure all its components are in good working order and properly connected, you can go ahead and hook your barbecue up to its fuel source.
When you’re done for the day, turn off the fuel supply at the quick-connect source. As with propane barbecues, close the lid, let it cool down, then cover it up and store it.
Home Insurance Calgary: The Dos and Don’ts of Barbecuing
Here are some general dos and don’ts for barbecue season:
- Do trim fat off meat before cooking to minimize flame flares
- Do use clean cooking utensils and oven mitts when handling food and hot trays or foil
- Do immediately turn off the barbecue’s burners and leave the unit’s lid open in the event of a grease fire, if you can safely do so without putting yourself in harm’s way
- Do thoroughly clean your barbecue’s grill and exterior components at least once per summer
- Don’t leave cooking food unattended
- Don’t smoke in the vicinity of an active barbecue
- Don’t use your barbecue indoors, or in any enclosed space (such as a garage)
- Don’t cook with a barbecue that may have loose connections or damaged components
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