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How to Put out a Propane Grill Fire

As if you needed something else to worry about on this Vermont winter weekend, a propane grill fire is most times going to be an issue for the backyard cookout. For those who don’t know what a propane grill fire is, it’s when the fuel line of your grill malfunctions and blows up into flames. If that’s ever happened to you – or if you’re not sure how to put out any type of outdoor fire; specifically gas or charcoal – then read on for instructions on what you should do in that situation.

Why do Propane Grills tank catch fire?

any of these situations can cause it:

  • A leak on the tank or in one of the propane lines leads to it. The best way to find out where the leak is is to meter your tank (the process of which will be discussed below).
  • The valve is turned on before the tank’s pressure was released, which usually happens when you transport or store your propane tanks in an unsupervised area (like a garage).
  • The tank itself is defective or has a nozzle that isn’t working properly.
  • A misfueling such as Propane Tank Tipping where the tank is refilled with the wrong type of gas (usually butane).
  • Gas getting in through the burner orifice or a leak on one of the gas lines and in turn, catching fire and setting the tank on fire.
  • The smell of the gas being released from the tank, especially if the smell is strong and pungent enough that it makes you sick.
  • An electrical fire being started by a faulty wire or a spark that then travels to the propane tank. h. Fire from inside the house, garage or other structure then catches onto or spreads to your propane tank.

What do I do if my propane grill catches on fire?

start by turning off the grill burners and making sure that the gas tank is off then do the following:

  1.  The first thing to do is turn off the propane tank.
    a) if you have an electric starter for your grill, switch it off as well
    b) if you have a liquid ignition device for your grill, switch that off as well because it has a similar mechanism as the propane tank’s starter does.
  2.  As soon as you turn off the propane tank and the liquid ignition devices, get a fire extinguisher.
  3.  Then, get all of the equipment, food and tools you need to put out the fire.
  4. Approach the grill with caution so that you don’t run into it or burn yourself on either its hot bottom or cold top surfaces.
  5.  Assess the situation.
  6. If the fire is small enough that you can easily move it with a metal spatula, then you should do that.
  7. If the fire is too large to move, then use the fire extinguisher to put it out.
  8. Watch for flames and sparks after you put out the fire and make sure that you don’t have any lingering fires before you leave your grill site
  9.  Butch up your ego a little and realize that you can still have a great joint if the food is cooked in the oven or on a grill pan.
  10.  Don’t let others see you with an empty propane tank or liquid ignition devices, especially around children, elderly people, or other adults who may not understand what you’re doing and what danger it may pose to them.
  11.  If you don’t have an empty propane tank, fill it up before the next time you use it since filling stations are often shut at night.
  12.  Before you throw a full propane tank away, turn off the valve so gas doesn’t leak out of it and pollute the environment.

Final Tips

If you smell gas, find the leak or use a wet cloth covered in saran wrap to cover the opening to your propane tank and see if it stops the gas from coming out.

Never add butane to a propane tank with a standard torch lighter. Use tweezers to add the butane only if there are no leaks as using a portable torch lighter in this manner can result in fires and explosions.

This gas is heavier than air, and it can be trapped in the home attic or basement. A ceiling fan may blow out the propane, causing a small explosion. If you experience one, notify your local fire department immediately.

If you smell something like propane while cooking, this could be a mixture of butane and propane. Use caution when cooking with this gas.

If your propane tank has more than a quarter-inch crack, it could be leaking. If you suspect that your tank is damaged, contact your local propane company.

If you see the gauge moving when you’re not using the grill, this can be a result of air pressure in the tank. If the gauge moves outside of its normal range of 3-5 pounds per square inch (PSI) or if it is over 20 pounds per square inch (PSI), receive repair help immediately.

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