Courses in this Department
How to Make Your Home Healthy and Safe
Build a Safe Home Playground
Make Your Home a Safe Haven for Kids
Avoid Grill Fires, Explosions and CO Poisoning
Don't Let a Burglar Ruin Your Vacation
Is Your Tap Water Safe?
Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?
Localities Crack Down on Homeowners Alarm Calls
Radon Sends Ripples through Water Systems
Are you a Hazardous Waste Case?
Grill Fires, Explosions and CO Poisoning
summer is a season for outdoor food and fun around the barbecue. Unfortunately,
it's also the time for burn injuries and poisonings from improper use of grills.
As the barbecue season goes into full swing, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) is warning of dangers related to carbon monoxide poisoning and
burns, as well as defective gas grills that have been recalled by the manufacturers.
Charcoal Grill Safety Tips
year, charcoal grills are involved in about 20 deaths and more than 300 emergency
room-treated injuries due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Burning charcoal
produces CO, a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in
closed environments. To reduce your risk of CO poisonings, follow CPSC's 3 safety
1 - Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents,
2 - Charcoal should never be used indoors, even with ventilation.
3 - Since charcoal produces CO until the charcoal is completely extinguished,
do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.
Gas Grill Safety Tips
Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane,
used in gas grills, is extremely flammable and hazardous. Each year more than
500 fires occur when people use gas grills. You're at greatest risk just after
refilling and reattaching the grill's gas container, or when you're using a grill
that's been left idle for a period of time.
the risks, follow these precautions suggested by CPSC:
the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or
food grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage and push it through
to the main part of the burner.
- Check grill hoses for cracking,
brittleness, holes, and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose
- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces
and dripping hot grease. If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to
- Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can
eventually leak gas.
- If you detect a gas leak, immediately turn
off the gas at the tank and don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is
- Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames away from
a leaking grill.
- Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at
least 10 feet away from any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, carport,
porch, or under a surface that can catch fire.
- When lighting the
grill, keep the top open. If the grill does not light in first several attempts,
wait 5 minutes to allow gas to dissipate.
- Never attempt to repair
the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified
appliance repair person.
- Use caution when storing LP gas containers.
Always keep containers upright. Never store a spare gas container under or near
the grill, or store a full container indoors. Never store or use flammable liquids,
like gasoline, near the grill.
- To avoid incidents while transporting
LP gas containers, consumers should transport the container in a secure, upright
position. Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause
the gas pressure to increase, causing the relief valve to open and allowing gas
CPSC worked with grill manufacturers to develop a new
voluntary standard to prevent LP gas leaks. Grills meeting this standard will
shut themselves off if a gas leak occurs.
In November 1998, CPSC and Sunbeam Products Inc. recalled for repair about 80,000
Grillmaster gas grills with side burners. The side burner's propane gas hose on
these grills can twist up toward the aluminum casting of the grill, causing overheating
and melting of the hose. Gas leakage or a fire could result from the hose damage.
To get a free repair kit or for more information, call Sunbeam toll-free at (888)
In May 1999, CPSC and Kmart announced a recall of about 40,000 Tru-Burn
Portable LP Gas Grills because their burner manifolds can separate during use
and ignite nearby combustibles. For more information, call Kmart toll-free at