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Barbecue and Propane Safety

Follow these safety tips for propane and natural gas barbeques to ensure a safe and enjoyable barbequing season.

Getting Started

  • When buying a barbeque, choose one that bears the CSA, ITS or ULC label. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and have it repaired by a trained professional when necessary.
  • Propane cylinders must be inspected and re-certified every 10 years. Check your propane cylinder for date of manufacture.
  • Place your barbeque outside, on level ground, at least one metre (three feet) away from the house and away from wind and combustible materials.
  • Barbeques should be inspected and cleaned at least once each year, preferably prior to the first use.
  • Make sure burners are in good condition. Burners that are rusted or damaged should be replaced.
  • Check the flexible hose. If you find cracks or damage replace the hose before using the barbeque.
  • Clean the tubes underneath the burner-insects and debris can accumulate inside these tubes.
  • If your barbeque connection area has an “O” ring, check it every time you connect the cylinder. Replace missing, deformed, cracked or damaged “O” rings.

Checking for Leaks

  • After connecting a propane cylinder, check for leaks using a solution of equal parts soap and water.
  • With the appliance turned off, brush the solution over all connections-open the cylinder valve and bubbles will form when there is a leak.
  • If you find a leak, close the cylinder valve and retighten, repeat the leak test until there are no leaks.

Using your Barbecue

  • When using a match, always light it before turning on the gas to prevent excessive gas build-up. If the barbecue is equipped with an electronic igniter, follow the directions on the control panel.
  • Both propane and natural gas flames should be mostly blue with yellow tips. If the flame is mostly yellow, do not use the barbecue. Have it checked.
  • Prevent grease from dripping onto the hoses or cylinder. Grease build-up is a fire hazard.
  • Never store extra propane cylinders under or near your barbecue. Excess heat may overpressure the cylinder and cause it to release propane from the cylinder relief valve.
  • Make sure children stay away from the barbecue.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors; doing so causes a build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
  • After barbecuing, make sure the barbecue is off and the burner flames are out. Also make sure the gas supply is turned off and the lid is closed.