Barbecuing or grilling outdoors this summer tops the list of fun ways for families to eat dinner together, according to a survey from the Propane Education & Research Council. And almost two-thirds of Americans say that a barbecue or cookout is their favorite way to entertain-or be entertained-during the summer months.
But only one in three adults say they know enough about basic safe grilling tips. To help the 74 million "barbecue households" in the United States enjoy a safe and healthy summer season, the propane industry teamed up with best-selling author and grilling expert Steven Raichlen to release its top-ten tips on grilling safely with propane gas:
1. When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks.
2. After filling or exchanging, take the cylinder home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
3. Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position. Do not use, store, or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
4. Never leave the grill unattended. Always follow the grill manufacturer's instructions on lighting the grill and make sure the grill top is open when attempting to light the grill.
5. Before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill, use a leak-detection solution to check connections for tightness. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
6. If you suspect a gas leak and are able to safely turn off the gas supply valve, do so immediately and call the fire department.
7. Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
8. Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
9. Never pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
10. When not in use, grill burner controls should be turned off and cylinder valve closed.
"Interest in grilling is skyrocketing," said Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and the just-released Raichlen on Ribs. "Given the large numbers of grillers in this country, it is imperative that safe grilling tips are made available and, more importantly, followed."
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