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12 gas grill safety tips

Having a certified propane tank is an important part of ensuring the safe operation of your gas grill. Tanks require recertification when they reach 12 years of age.

Speaking of the number 12, here are a dozen gas grill tips courtesy of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

1. Don’t overfill a tank. By law, a 20-pound tank (also known as a cyclinder) should be filled only to 80 percent of capacity to allow room for the liquid inside it to expand.

2. Keep the tank outside in a well-ventilated space. Never store it indoors.

3. If storing the grill indoors, the cylinder must be disconnected, removed and stored outdoors.

4. Always store the cylinder upright and in areas that will not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Never attach or disconnect a cylinder when the grill is in operation or is hot.

6. Never use a tank if it shows signs of dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, corrosion, leakage, excessive rust or other forms of visual external damage. Under these conditions, the tank could be hazardous and should be checked by a liquid propane supplier.

7. Clean and perform general maintenance on the grill twice per year.

8. Visually inspect hoses for abrasion, wear and leaks before each use. A soap and water solution may be used to test for leaks, but never use a flame.

9. When lighting a gas grill, always keep the lid open to prevent a “flash off” from built-up gas.

10. Do not lean over the grill when igniting the burners or cooking.

11. If a burner does not ignite, turn off the gas. Keep the lid open and wait five minutes before trying to light it again.

12. If the burners go out during operation, turn the gas valves off, open the lid and wait five minutes before attempting to relight.

Grilling is one of the joys of summer – and really any time of year. But no matter how routine it becomes, it’s important not to take safety for granted.


Guy Gardener

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 10:47am EDT

Indeed, my father taught me most of these when dealing with propane. Number seven though, I would not say is correct. I would say cleaning should happen before and/or after every use. Maintenance may be able to wait that long, but not cleaning.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 5:33pm EDT

Excellent post, Neal! I’m glad that Is stumbled upon it because I’ll be grilling tomorrow for a family event. I think you’re absolutely right: you need to make sure that you’re being safe while using propane. I’ll be sure to follow your suggestion by leaving the gas tank in a well-ventilated space. Thanks for the great tips; you’ve been very helpful!

Logan Murphy

Monday, October 26, 2015 at 12:03pm EDT

Tip number 6 sounds really important! My parents just gave us their old grill and my wife and I have never had one before. We still need to get at propane tank for it so I’ve been looking up info about them. It’s good to know that we need to avoid dents or any damage to the tank. I can see how that can be dangerous. Thanks for your tips on grills. We are excited to start using it!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 8:21am EST

Thanks for the safety tips on using a propane grill. A friend of mine did a barbecue a few weeks back, and when he turned it on there was a huge fireball for a second. Nobody was hurt, but they were a lot more careful after that to make sure the propane wasn’t leaking or left on. I’ll send him this article. Thanks!

Jason Strong

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 10:30am EST

My dad grills out all the time and is constantly buying propane. I’m not sure if he is as safe as he should be, so I’m looking for ways that can help him do this safer. This article has some great points that I think can help him out.

Braden Bills

Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 10:24am EST

I got a propane grill for my back yard patio, but I didn’t even consider any of the safety measures I need to take. I didn’t know that I’m going to have to clean it twice per year! I’ll never take safety for granted. Thanks for the article!

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