Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Well before grilling:

  • Minimize use of grills – adds to air pollution
  • Check your propane gas tank

If tank is 12 or more years old:

  • Replace it
  • Ensure propane gas tank has adequate amount of gas remaining

If you take the tank to be refueled:

  • If your tank requires it, put a plug in it
  • Don’t transport the tank in the trunk of your vehicle
  • Place the tank on the floor in the back seat
  • Marinate meat/poultry – to reduce the release of dangerous chemicals from meat/poultry during grilling which cause mutations in bacteria and may cause cancer
  • Consider microwaving meat/poultry before putting it on the grill – to help prevent salmonella poisoning
  • Check your grill’s condition
  • Ensure grill parts are in good shape (e.g., not damaged by animals, insects, weather, etc)
  • Have available:
    • Brush and scraper to clean grill
    • Lighter fluid designed to light charcoal (not gasoline, kerosene, etc.)
    • Charcoal
    • Matches
    • Separate dishes, plates, etc. for raw meat and food which is ready to be eaten
    • Extra long oven mitt(s)
    • Long-handled tongs
    • Long-handled spatula (flipper)

Right before lighting:

  • Ensure you have lighter fluid which is designed to light charcoal
  • Ensure the grill is at least 10 feet from structures
  • Clean the grill with scraper, brush, etc.
  • Avoid using newspaper to get fire started
  • Roll up your sleeves
  • Raise lid

Before lighting a match:

  • Ensure you and/or other adults are prepared to monitor the grill continuously to ensure children and pets stay away
  • Put lighter fluid on charcoal
  • Close cap on lighter fluid container
  • Put lighter fluid well away from grill

If charcoal doesn’t light initially:

  • Never spray lighter fluid on smoldering charcoal
  • Instead, add some kindling, tinder, paper, etc. and attempt to light with a match

If charcoal still won’t light:

  • Let charcoal cool off and try later

After lighting:

  • Put matches out of the reach of children
  • Stay near the grill
  • Ensure children and pets stay away
  • Put on extra long oven mitt(s)
  • Use long-handled utensils

While grilling:

  • Once you’ve used a dish, etc. to hold raw meat (e.g., chicken, beef), don’t use it for food which is ready to be eaten
  • Use medium heat – to help ensure meat/poultry is thoroughly cooked (to reduce risk of food poisoning) without burning it (to reduce risk of cancer)

After grilling:

  • Turn off gas controls
  • Turn off valve on gas tank
  • Refill tank if necessary

If you’re going to store the tank:

  • Put a plug in the outlet
  • Don’t store tank indoors, e.g., garage


Thanks for reading!