Make Your Memorial Day Weekend a Safe and Memorable One

The Propane Industry Offers Consumers Important Grilling Safety Tips


May 21, 2001

Washington, DC (May 21, 2001)-Memorial Day weekend is finally here, and to many Americans, that means a chance to fire up their gas grills and host the first of many backyard barbecues for their friends and families. With more and more people taking advantage of the benefits of gas grills this season, the Propane Education & Research Council (Council) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) are providing some helpful and effective tips to make summer grilling safe and fun for everyone.

Barbecuing continues to be a favorite outdoor activity among consumers. The Barbecue Industry Association (BIA) estimates that at least three billion barbecue events take place each summer among the estimated 75 million households that own grills, based on its 1999 industry survey. Of those households, 60 percent own propane gas grills.

"Americans have come to rely on propane to fuel their gas grills because they know it will provide them with a safe, clean burning and convenient method of cooking outdoors, " said Roy Willis, president of the Council.

To help make the holiday grilling experience both safe and enjoyable for consumers, the Council and NPGA have compiled a list of propane gas grill and cylinder safety tips:

Propane Grill Do's:

  • Always follow all of the grill manufacturerundefineds instructions and keep written materials and manuals in a safe, accessible place.
  • When not in use, make sure all grill burner controls are turned off and that the valve cylinder is closed.
  • Make sure the gas grill is shut off and cooled off before covering your grill after use.
  • Always use or store cylinders outdoors with the relief valve in direct contact with the vapor space, usually in an upright (vertical) position.
  • When you fill or exchange your cylinder, have your supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks. If you exchange your cylinder, these inspections are already completed on the full cylinder.
  • After filling or exchanging, take your cylinder home immediately. Keep your vehicle ventilated and keep the cylinder valve closed and plugged or capped in accordance with the manufacturerundefineds instructions.
  • When your grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags, or obtain protective fitting caps from your propane supplier to keep out dirt, insects and moisture.
  • Before lighting your propane gas grill burner, use a leak-detection solution to check all connections for tightness. Contact your local propane gas supplier to obtain the leak-detection solution and instructions on how to use it.
  • If there is an uncontrollable release of gas or a fire, call the fire department immediately and move all people and pets away from the unit.

Propane Grill Dont's:

  • Do not smoke while handling the propane cylinder.
  • Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
  • Do not use, store or transport your cylinder where it would be exposed to high temperatures. (This includes storing spare cylinders under or near the grill.)

The propane industry is committed to product safety, working to provide consumers with the most innovative and effective ways to safely handle their propane cylinders. Among these innovations is the emergence of Overfilling Prevention Devices, known as OPDs. OPDs are safety devices attached to the valves on small propane cylinders (four to 40 lbs.), and are designed to prevent the excessive filling of containers. These safety enhancements have become the industry standard, and all new propane cylinders manufactured after October 1998 are equipped with this device. For more information on OPDs, consumers should contact their local propane marketer or go to NPGA's Web site at

"Before grilling your favorite food, you should know how to use your gas grill safely-and this includes handling and storing your propane cylinder," said Daniel N. Myers, executive vice president and general manager of NPGA. "By understanding how to properly handle propane, we can all enjoy a better, safer holiday."

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source. For more information about the Propane Education & Research Council, please call (202) 452-8975 or visit the Web site at

The National Propane Gas Association is the national trade association for the U.S. propane gas industry. With a membership of nearly 3,700 in all 50 states, 38 affiliated state and regional associations, and members in 28 foreign countries, NPGA represents every segment of the propane industry. For more information call (630) 515-0600 or visit the Web site at