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Health Tip: Practice Safe Grilling

Whether gas or charcoal, safety comes first

(HealthDay News) -- Spring is in the air and the smell of barbecued meat is wafting through, as well. But danger could be lurking in your own backyard grill.

Each year, about 30 people are injured in gas grill fires and explosions. In addition, another 30 people die and 100 are injured as a result of carbon dioxide fumes from charcoal grills and hibachis, especially when used indoors.

Many of these incidents occur when consumers first use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time, or right after refilling and reattaching the grill's gas container.

To reduce your risks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these safety tips:

  • Check the tubes that lead into the burners for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear any blockage.
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • 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 protect them.
  • Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can leak gas.
  • If you detect a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.
  • Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Never use or store a just-used grill indoors, or in a garage, carport or porch.
  • Do not attempt to repair a leaky tank valve or the grill yourself. See a licensed professional.
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