WASHINGTON, July 1, 1999
-- As consumers get ready to fire up their
grills this Independence Day weekend, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
is releasing safety tips for using charcoal and gas grills, and reminding consumers of two
recalls of gas grills.
In November 1998, CPSC and Sunbeam Products Inc. recalled for repair about 80,000
Grillmaster gas grills with side burners. The side burner's propane gas hose on these
grills can twist up toward the aluminum casting of the grill, causing overheating and
melting of the hose. Gas leakage or a fire could result from the hose damage. To get a
free repair kit or for more information, call Sunbeam toll-free at (888) 892-8150 anytime.
In May 1999, CPSC and Kmart announced a recall of about 40,000 Tru-Burn Portable LP Gas
Grills because their burner manifolds can separate during use and ignite nearby
combustibles. For more information, call Kmart toll-free at (800) 63KMART anytime.
Charcoal Grill Safety Tips
Each year, there are about 20 deaths from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and more than 300
emergency room treated injuries from CO poisoning resulting from charcoal grills. Charcoal
produces CO when burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic
levels in closed environments. To reduce these CO poisonings, CPSC is offering the
following safety tips:
- Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles,
tents, or campers.
- Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if
ventilation is provided.
- Since charcoal produces CO until the charcoal
is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.
Gas Grill Safety Tips
Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is extremely flammable. Each
year more than 500 fires occur when people use gas grills and about 20 people are injured
as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Many of these fires and explosions occur
when consumers first use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time or just
after refilling and reattaching the grill's gas container.
To reduce these risks, consumers should:
- Check the tubes that lead into the burner for
any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease.
- Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage
and push it through to the main part of the burner.
- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness,
holes, and leaks.
- Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose
- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot
surfaces and dripping hot grease. If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to
- Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which
can eventually leak gas.
- If you detect a gas leak, immediately turn off
the gas at the tank and don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.
- Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, or open
flames away from a leaking grill.
- Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at
least 10 feet away from any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, carport, porch, or
under a surface that can catch fire.
- When lighting the grill, keep the top open. If
the grill does not light in first several attempts, wait 5 minutes to allow gas to
- Never attempt to repair the tank valve or the
appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.
- Use caution when storing LP gas containers.
Always keep containers upright. Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill.
Never store a full container indoors. Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline,
near the grill.
- To avoid incidents while transporting LP gas
containers, consumers should transport the container in a secure, upright position. Never
keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to
increase, causing the relief valve to open and allowing gas to escape.
CPSC worked with the industry to develop a new
voluntary standard to prevent LP gas leaks. Grills meeting this standard will shut
themselves off if a gas leak occurs.
Avoid Deadly Grilling Dangers...