Gas Grill Safety Questions

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Hello,
Guess I'm succumbing like so many others, and considering buying one of those Gas Grills that seem to be everywhere. The ones that run off of a Propane tank.
Have never had one before.
In my case, it would be placed, probably, on my wooden deck (attached to the house)
Questions:
How "safe" are these things, both in use and just sitting there with the attached tank ?
Would you keep it on a wooden deck ?
Are grease flare-ups while cooking a real safety concern ?
Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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Overall, they are very safe, but nothing is perfect. Every year some do start fires. Millions never do.
I do keep mine on my wood deck and I don't worry about it. I do follow normal safe precautions and care. It is on the outside rail of the deck, not near the house. If the grill was to burn it would not be shooting flames into the soffits.
Just sitting there, it is highly unlikely anything would happen. All the manufacturers recommend you turn off the valve on the tank when not in use.
Flare-ups are not a big deal. If you are careful in cooking, they are very infrequent. Chicken is the worst offender, but it can be eliminated with some attention while cooking. At the time the fat starts to render and drip, be ready to move it away from a fire if it starts. . If for any reason a flare-up start, just let it burn out.
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Safety-wise, a couple of things... I wouldn't leave the tank in direct sunlight, and I would close the valve on the tank every time I finish grilling.
Not a problem for a wood deck, but you might consider some barrier between the tank and the deckboards - like a scrap piece of wood or a piece of plastic so that the deckboards don't get scratched up or to prevent a permanent LP tank impression.
Grease flare ups happen but it's not really a problem if the lid is closed.
Happy Grilling! M.Paul

the
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UNTIL you open the lid;then WHOOSH.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Robert11 wrote:

Google (propane+tank+fire) yields over a million hits. Replace "fire" with "explosion" and you get another 334,000 hits.
If you value the life of your family and the safety of your home, you'd best eat all your meals at Burger King.
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As safe as the operator wants them to be. The biggest problem is people turning on the gas with the lid closed and then being unpleasantly surprised at the result when they light the grill. If you follow the instructions there's no problem at all.
The propane storage tank is perfectly safe sitting near a house.

Of course. I wouldn't operate it without having six inches of space between the grill and any structures.

No. Unless you are cooking a lot of greasy chicken or pork directly on teh grill, you probably won't have a lot of flareups. Running both burners on high for 10 minutes after cooking goes a long way towards eliminating them the next time.
-- "Tell me what I should do, Annie." "Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
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Funny story. I was lighting the grill and although I am normally super careful, after turning on the gas, the door bell rang. Do I have to tell what happened next? Incredibly, after returning to the grill and pressing the red button the explosion was only minor and no damage to man or machine.
Another friend melted his vinyl siding with his grill.
Overall they are safe as long as you don't do stupid things like this. Probably the most dangerous part is transporting the filled tank by car back to the house.
wrote:

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Robert11 wrote:

Overall IF (<- BIG IF ) you follow the instructions and cautions they are generally safe. I will make a couple of suggestions. First remember that they do get hot. You should have nothing near (I would say at least 6 foot) them when they are operating that might be damaged by heat or catch fire. Remember the plastic siding can melt! Don't ask me how I know that. As for a deck, I would consider that acceptable IF ( Another BIG IF ) you make sure the deck under it does not become grease soaked. That could be very bad.
Also remember that when you turn it off, it is going to remain quite hot for some time. Don't plan on walking away as soon as you turn it off, and never leave a hot grill un-attended.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Robert11 wrote:

This will probably raise some hackles but such is life. I will concede in advance that what you propose to do is very commonly done but it is in fact illegal in many places. In order for the grill to be used on or in a structure it has to be listed as a cooking appliance by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Most movable grills are not listed as cooking appliances. Listed grills are fastened in place to prevent tipping and are supplied from a remote supply of Gas. There has to be a shut off in the supply piping immediately adjacent to the grill. If the grill is to be supplied by portable gas bottles the size of those cylinders is limited to a nominal ten pounds capacity. The National Fuel Gas Code requires that unlisted movable grills be located a specific distance away from the structure and that includes the deck. Having said that let me say that I realize that the Fuel Gas Code is observed more in the breech in this regard but that doesn't make that use safe.
If you actually do want a safe installation buy a listed grill, anchor it in accordance with the manufactures instructions, and either install the supply cylinders remotely or use the ten pound capacity ones. The reason that the code limits the portable cylinders to ten pounds is that it takes a lot shorter time for a ten pound cylinder to vent if over pressurized and that limits the time that the vent fire will last and thus limits the duration of the exposure of the structural elements to the gas fed fire. The use of a remote tank when using a larger supply insures the existence of a remote shut off valve that can be safely approached to shut off the gas when a problem occurs at the appliance. -- Tom Horne
Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to. We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.
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Check your numbers, a 20 pound cylinder is the standard used for BBQs not 10 pounds.

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EXT wrote: > Check your numbers, a 20 pound cylinder is the standard used for BBQs > not 10 pounds. >
BBQ grills that are listed for use in or on a dwelling will not except any tank larger than 10 pounds without an adapter. That is done deliberately to prevent the use of the larger propane cylinders inside a building. Most regular BBQ grills are not listed as gas cooking appliances that are suitable to use in doors.
If you reread my entire posting carefully you will see that is the very issue I was trying to address. -- Tom Horne
Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to. We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.
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You are talking about the tiny grills that are about worthless. That is not what the OP is looking for and really has little to do with the subject of use on a deck. Those things are table top units that use the disposable tanks. Real grills use the 20 pound tanks.
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wrote in message

Now I'm really confused. I just went and looked at my tank. On the top, it is stamped TW 17.0 , which I would take to mean that the tare weight is 17#. That feels right, about like a bowling ball. This tank is about knee high, and in liquid would say it would hold around five gallons just looking at it. However, full, it weighs a lot. How ARE these things rated? In pounds of liquid in side? In gallons? When I go get them filled, they charge me by the gallon. Help me out, please. Is a 17# empty tank called a 20# because it's approximately twenty pounds empty? Propane weighs 4.24# per gallon, so that's about 21 pounds for five gallons. Is that a rounded number, too?
Steve
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It will take 20 pounds of liquid. Most fill the tank on a scale and stop when it hits 37# total. Most places also charge a flat fee, not by the gallon. Right now I'm paying $9.99 a fill up.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Try again. Listed Propane fired cooking grills for use in structures are every bit as large and often larger than the portable outdoor units the OP was asking about. They are very commonly used in restaurants that have no natural gas supply. The ones used for the catering industry for cooking indoors are fitted with a cylinder holder for portable ten pound propane cylinders. That size is seldom found in any industry accept catering. The mere fact that you haven't seen the unit I'm talking about does not mean it does not exist. No I'm not talking about the table top units that are fueled by disposable cartridges. -- Tom Horne
Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to. We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.
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Great, but what do they have to do with the OP's request about outdoor grill safety? Nothing.
In my kitchen, I have a propane powered range supplied by two 100 pounds tanks. Big deal, that has nothing to do with outdoor grills.
The only grills I've seen for use with small tanks are the table top models and they are not what the OP asked about either.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

The OP asked about the safety of gas fired grills used on a deck. There are propane grills that are listed as cooking appliances for use in or on a structure. Like the propane range in your kitchen they have been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for safety when used in or on a structure. They can be fueled with a remote supply of propane just the way your kitchen range is or, if it needs to be movable, then they have a connection for a portable cylinder that is configured to prevent the use of cylinders larger then 10 pounds. They look a lot like the more expensive portable outdoor types but they have been tested for use in structures. They are not the table top units that you have alluded to all though they are available as a built in counter top unit. They are the only propane fired grills that are tested for safe use in or on structures.
Tom Horne
Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to. We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.
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Never heard of that one, around here NO ONE sells 10 pound tanks, they are ALL 20 pounders and most people put them on a deck. In fact, I wouldn't want to have my grill on the grass where I have to move it constantly to mow the lawn and get my feet wet when I am cooking on it.
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EXT wrote:

Yes I'm aware that ten pound propane tanks are not commonly available. The only place that they are commonly used is in the catering and plumbing industries. They are used in laboratory listed movable gas fired cooking appliances in order to limit the amount of propane that is available to feed any failure of the appliance. -- Tom Horne
Well we aren't no thin blue heroes and yet we aren't no blackguards to. We're just working men and woman most remarkable like you.
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Fire can be your friend or your enemy. As with everything fire, it can be good or bad. I've had a gas grill for lots and lots of years now. I can't say that nothing bad has ever happened, but when I reflect on those, it was my own stupid actions rather than the grill.
One time, it didn't light, and I left the gas run for a while before noticing it. Now, common sense, (and the directions) tell you that you should wait 5 minutes for this cloud of gas you are standing in to dissipate before trying to light it again. But noooooo. I'm in a hurry. I hit the button, and for the first time in a long time the sparker actually worked. I lost most of my arm hair, some eyebrows, and it actually slightly burned the surface of my eyes. Not the grill's fault by any means.
The next time, I was cooking UNDER one of those shade cloth screens about five feet over the barbecue. Let me tell you what, plastic does not do well over heat, and catches fire very easily. I didn't even notice that it had melted a hole in the sunshade until my helpful wife pointed it out to me. I said oh something, and that I'd move it right after this meal. That is when the chicken flared up. The sunshade did too. Lucky I had a hose right there, and didn't get hit by any of the falling molten globules of plastic that were going zzzziippppppppp zzzzzziiiiipppp zzzzzziiiiiiinnnnnnggggg as they fell off and hit the patio.
I don't think you will have any problems with a gas grill. Watch overhangs. Buy one with a good clicker (they do make some with bad ones, usually covered with a rubber bulb that rots in one season), watch to make sure it lights when you click it. Or get some butane barbecue starters at the 99 cent store.
Trim the skin and fat from chicken. It will burn.
Close the valve when you're done. Go out and check it after each use. I like to leave mine on for ten to fifteen minutes after I cook to burn off the fat and stuff. But when I don't check, I have left them on for as long as sixteen hours.
Smell for gas and trust your nose. When it's working right, you don't smell the gas.
Keep stuff away from it. Like little kids. My grandson (2 yr old) got a lesson in hot last weekend by touching the one at HIS house. Mama said he screamed and screamed, and the tips of four of his fingers turned white.
Have a dedicated space for it, and keep about four feet on each side clear of plastic and silk plants, garden tools, starter fluid for the charcoal, and things that just aren't like the others. There should be NOTHING over it, unless it is high enough not to melt or catch fire.
Some people love them, some people hate them. I love them, but just like anything that has to do with fire, you better pay attention, or you'll pay for it. I have a Vermont Castings, and love it for the following reasons: it gets very HOT if I want it to; it has a large heavy lid; it has enamel that is easier to keep clean than SS; it has three burners; it has porcelain grating; it has a GREAT clicker that starts first time every time, and it has a thermometer that actually works.
Do not buy an all SS grill unless you want to spend a lot of time making it all shiny.
Good luck. Just read the directions and apply liberal amounts of common sense.
Steve
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