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These tips from the National Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association will help you use your gas grill safely.

Propane cylinders are safe and easy to use - Each year propane cylinder exchange companies recycle millions of propane cylinders through state-of-the-art production processes that include multiple steps to insure a safe backyard grilling experience. It is required that each cylinder is inspected, tested and leak-checked by professional staff trained to identify propane cylinders that may have been used in methamphetamine or other illegal production. Unfortunately, these companies cannot stop the illegal use of propane cylinders, but the exchange programs are equipped to catch any tanks used for illegal purposes and never allow them into the consumer mainstream markets.

After the LP cylinder is connected, the grill must be kept outside in a well-ventilated space. When not in use, the LP cylinder valve must be turned to the OFF position (clockwise).

If storing the gas grill indoors, the LP cylinder MUST be disconnected, removed, and stored outdoors. NEVER store an LP cylinder indoors.

Always store LP cylinder upright and in areas where temperatures won’t exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Never store a spare LP cylinder on or near a grill or any other appliance.

Always check for gas leaks every time you disconnect and reconnect the regulator to the LP cylinder.

Never attach or disconnect an LP cylinder, or move or alter gas fittings when the grill is in operation or is hot.

Never use an LP cylinder if it shows signs of dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, corrosion, leakage, excessive rust or other forms of visual external damage; it may be hazardous and should be checked by a liquid propane supplier.

After a period of storage or disuse (such as over the winter), the gas grill should be checked for gas leaks, deterioration, proper assembly, and burner obstructions before using.

Clean and perform general maintenance on the grill twice a year. Watch for rust, paint the LP cylinder to make it more rustproof, and check the regulator, hoses, burner parts, air shutter, and venturi/valve section carefully. Always turn off gas at the source (tank or supply line) prior to inspecting parts. Check owner’s manual for any additional maintenance requirements.

Visually inspect hose(s) for abrasion, wear, and leaks before each use. A soap and water solution may be used to test for leaks. Never use a flame to check for gas leaks. Replace faulty hose(s) using a parts replacement kit before operating.

When lighting a gas grill, always keep the lid open to prevent a flash off from gas build-up.

Do not lean over the grill when igniting the burners or cooking.

If a burner doesn’t ignite, turn off the gas. Keep the grill lid open and wait five minutes before trying to light it again. If the burners go out during operation, turn all gas valves to OFF. Open the lid and wait five minutes before attempting to relight, using lighting instructions.

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