Keep Summer Grilling Safe with Tips from the Propane Education & Research Council


May 21, 2004

Washington, D.C. Temperatures are on the rise and grilling in America is hotter than ever.  Four out of five U.S. families now own a grill, and most people barbecue at least once a week during the summer.  Before backyard grilling begins, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) encourages homeowners to follow some simple grilling safety tips to help make every barbecue this summer a hit.
Grilling Safety Tips:

  • Always follow grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials accessible.
  • When lighting a grill, keep the top open.
  • Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
  • When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust, or leaks.
  • Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill burner, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks. 
  • After filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately.  Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
  • Do not allow children to tamper with the cylinder or grill.
  • Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
  • Do not use, store, or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
  • When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep clean.
  • If there is an uncontrollable release of gas, call the fire department.

Propane grills are equipped with convenient on/off switches allowing grills to heat up and cool down more quickly than charcoal, and without the messy clean-up.  Propane is also clean-burning – according to the Environmental Protection Agency, propane releases 105 times less carbon monoxide than charcoal.  In addition, grill owners have discovered that the distinct flavor of barbecued food does not come from charcoal – it is created when meat juices drop down onto a hot surface and then vaporize back into the meat.  

“Propane makes grilling easy,” says Rick Browne, host of public television’s Barbecue America and author of Grilling America.  “Propane grills are ready to use in an instant and require very little clean-up time, so you can spend more time enjoying your barbecue!”

Additional consumer safety information is available online at