When you think summer, you think propane, right?
Okay, maybe it's not the first thing that pops into your head when the temperature starts to climb. But with all the grilling, camping, and road trips it helps fuel, propane might just be the unofficial gas of the season.
Here are some tips to make sure you're using propane safely this summer.
Before you fire up the grill, it's best to check it to make sure it is working properly after months without use. Check your hoses for cracks, holes and leaks. Scope out the tubes leading to the burner and make sure they aren't blocked. Clean old grease from drip trays and grates. Issue eviction notices to any spiders that have turned your grill into an arachnid condominium over the winter.
Then, look at the propane tank itself. Be on the lookout for dents, gouges, corrosion, signs of leakage, or excessive rust. If you see any damage, contact your propane supplier. If needed, they can They'll help you properly dispose of the old tank. While you're at it, order a new tank. Those burgers are not going to cook themselves.
Fire It Up!
Now it's time to get grilling. To light your grill, open the lid and ignite the burner immediately. You don't want to trap the gas under the lid and cause a fire. And since you're working with an open flame, you'll obviously want to keep flammable materials – and people– away. So tell the knitting circle to give you some space.
If it's raining and you still want to grill, resist the urge to turn your garage into an outdoor kitchen. Propane grills need proper ventilation, and your garage doesn't have it. Keep your grilling to outdoor, open areas, and cook your rainy-day burgers on the stove.
Take your Tank
Before you grill anything, you'll probably need to transport your propane tank from the store to your home. Do it safely, and you'll live to grill again. Here are some safety tips:
Keep the tank upright. It should sit in your truck bed or trunk. Rolling or bouncing could cause a dent or puncture.
Don't leave it in your car. The sun, as you may know, is incredibly hot. Heat makes things expand. And expanding propane gas could explode ignite. So remove the tank from your car as quickly as possible. Explosions might look cool in the movies, but they could really ruin your barbecue.
Cap it. Always close the cylinder valve and use a cylinder plug while transporting propane. You might think your tank is empty, but some gas could still leak out and fill your car. And driving a ball of gas is not a great idea.
Follow your nose. Propane gas is odorless, but it contains an additive so you'll know when there is a leak. If you smell rotten eggs, pull over and remove the tank from your car. You can always get another propane tank. You can't get another you.
Follow these Summer Propane Safety Hot Tips and you will have successful grilling this summer.