DCA Posts Grilling Safety Tips
Department Advises People Follow Recommendations to Ensure Safe Cookouts

TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Acting Commissioner Lori Grifa today encouraged households to take a few minutes this spring season to review grill safety tips posted on the Department's website. Included on the website is a list of Propane Grill Do's and Don'ts and Propane Grill Consumer Safety information.

"For many households, the return of warm weather signals the beginning of the outdoor cooking season," said Acting Commissioner Grifa. "Before people fire up the grill, we ask them to read through the safety tips on the DCA website. The information is instructive and can go a long way toward limiting grill accidents."

Households are strongly advised to check for gas leaks before using a propane gas grill for the first time each year. A thick soapy water or leak-detection solution applied around the connection between the propane cylinder and grill hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. Never use matches or lighters to check for leaks. If a grill has a gas leak, people should call the local fire department.

Other safety tips include:

  • Use or store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position;

  • Extinguish all smoking materials and other open flames immediately if gas is smelled;

  • Transport cylinders in well-ventilated areas of vehicles and drive directly to the destination where it will be used;

  • Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder; and

  • Make sure cylinders have an overfill prevention device (OPD), which shuts off the flow of propane before capacity is reached. (OPDs are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.)

"I encourage people to share these tips with family and friends and speak up if they see someone grilling unsafely," said Acting Commissioner Grifa. "We can significantly reduce the risk of serious and potentially fatal grilling injuries, but we need the public's help."

The grill safety information is provided by the DCA's Liquid Petroleum Gas Advisory Board, Division of Codes and Standards and Division of Fire Safety. Local code and fire officials can download the information from the DCA website and make copies available to the public at such frequented places as town halls, libraries and community centers.

For the complete list of grill safety tips and additional grill safety information, please log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/codes/.