Safety | Home Heating
Tips | Family Safety
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| BBQ Safety Tips
& Grilling Safety Tips
Charcoal grills are still popular but the Valley Center Fire
Protection District wants you to be careful.
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal
chimney starters allow you to
start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid.
Never add charcoal fluid or any other
flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of
the reach of children and away from heat sources. There are
also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be
sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use. When you are
finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing
in a metal container.
Propane grills are quick and easy but fire safety is also
Read and follow all the grill manufacturer's instructions
before turning on and lighting the
grill. Keep the top open when lighting a propane grill, and
don't close it until you are sure the grill is lit.
- Turn off the burner control and close the cylinder valve.
When a grill is not in use for extended periods of time, cover
disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective
caps to keep them clean.
- Properly transport and store gas cylinders. When refilling
or replacing a propane cylinder,
transport in a secure, upright (vertical) position in a well-ventilated
area in your vehicle, and take it home immediately. Always
use or store cylinders in a secure and upright position outdoors
(not in a garage or shed).
"Dos" and "Don'ts"
Follow the grill manufacturer's instructions and keep written
If the ignitor no longer works, replace it in accordance with
the grill manufacturer's instructions.
Keep the top of the grill open until you are sure it is lit,
even if you have an electronic ignition.
Cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or
protective caps to keep them clean and functional.
Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical)
If you smell gas, and it is safe to do so, turn off the cylinder
valve, turning it to the right
(clockwise). If you are unable to turn off the valve, immediately
leave the area and dial 9-1-1.
Consult a qualified service technician if you are having grill
or propane cylinder problems.
Smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
Use matches or lighters to check for propane leaks.
Pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the
Allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
Use, store, or transport propane cylinders near high temperatures
(this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
NEVER use a damaged cylinder or a cylinder that has been in
a fire. All cylinders must be
inspected before they are refilled. The law requires periodic
inspection of cylinders, and it is against the law to refill
out-of-date cylinders. The last inspection date is stamped
on the cylinder.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO MODIFY OR REPAIR VALVES,
REGULATORS, OR OTHER CYLINDER OR APPLIANCE PARTS.
Propane cylinders incorporate special components such as valves,
connectors, and other parts to keep them safe for use with
grills and other propane appliances. Damage to any component
can cause a gas leak.
Propane is a very safe fuel. But as with energy source, there
are steps you should take to further ensure your safety.
Propane (also called LPGliquefied petroleum gasor
LP gas) is a liquid fuel stored under
pressure that vaporizes to a gas before it leaves the tank.
At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, it is a non-toxic,
colorless and odorless gas. Just like natural gas, an identifying
odor is added so it can be readily detected.
Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can
be ignited by many sources,
including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks,
and static electricity. Severe freeze burn or frostbite can
result if propane liquid comes in contact with your skin.
RISK IT! Call your propane retailer or a qualified service
technician for assistance.
If You Smell Gas
1. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open
2. If you are able to, safely turn off the cylinder valve.
To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
3. Immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1.
4. Before you restart the appliance, have a qualified service
technician inspect your cylinder and appliance.
Learn what propane smells like. Propane smells like rotten
eggs, a skunks spray, or a dead
animal. Propane manufacturers add this smell to help alert
customers to propane leaks.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED that you or others in your home may have
difficulty smelling propane, consider buying a propane gas
ALWAYS transport & store a cylinder in a secure and upright
position so it will not fall, shift or roll.
ALWAYS proceed directly to your destination and immediately
remove the cylinder from your vehicle.
NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed
area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
NEVER place or store a filled cylinder in an area of excessive
heat, inside a hot vehicle, or near a stove, fireplace, or
other heat source. Exposing cylinders to heat above 120º
F may result in a flash fire or explosion.
NEVER store or place a spare cylinder under or near a barbecue
DO NOT smoke or have any ignition sources in the area while
handling or transporting
ALWAYS close the cylinder valve and, if required, seal with
a plug, even if the cylinder is
The law places limits on the number of cylinders and the amount
of propane that can be
transported in closed-bodied vehicles such as passenger cars
and vans. Ask your propane retailer for more information on
local fire codes that apply to the Valley Center area.