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The majority of grill fires aren’t the result of a mechanical malfunction, they’re caused by human error. Thankfully just a few simple steps could help protect yourself and property from dangerous flames.
Even before a grill is ignited there are a few things you can do, to lessen the chance of a fire. According to Urbandale Fire Chief Jerry Holt, you should “Make sure you’ve moved (the grill) away from anything combustible…and one of the things you can do, is at least once a year, is to make sure that all your connections are tight, and there’s not gas leaks.”
You can also use what’s called the “Soapy Bubble Test” All you have to do is take a spray bottle, fill it up with a mixture of soap and water, and spray it on anything that connects a propane tank to a gas grill. If you see bubbles start to form, in the areas you sprayed, then you know that you have a potentially dangerous leak.
If you do discover that your propane tank or gas line is compromised it’s best to shut it off immediately, and take the problem, to someone who knows how to repair what’s broken, rather than trying to fix it yourself.
And perhaps more important than anything else is exercising caution and good judgement.
Just because you can use a gas or propane grill on an apartment or condo deck, doesn’t mean you should. Because if a fire breaks out in such an enclosed space, it has the potential to spread, very quickly.