Railroad Commission Spotlights Thanksgiving Propane Safety

11/21/2011

AUSTIN –– The Texas Railroad Commission is spotlighting safety this Thanksgiving as thousands of Texans celebrate the holiday with a tasty and moist grilled turkey using clean-burning propane gas grills.

Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones explained the Commission’s role in propane safety. “The Texas Railroad Commission is the state agency charged with propane safety in Texas. This responsibility includes educating the public about the safe use of propane appliances. With an estimated six million ‘barbecue households’ in Texas, the Commission wants to help make this holiday safe and enjoyable for propane grill owners.”

Commissioner David Porter noted that it is important to make sure you have an adequate supply of propane on hand. “One way is to have a spare cylinder full and ready to go. Texas has more than 900 propane outlets. You can locate a propane marketer near you at www.texaspropane.org. Make sure you take your filled cylinder home immediately and store it outside.”

Commissioner Barry T. Smitherman reminded grill users to check their grill before firing it up. “Leaks and breaks in the gas cylinder or hose account for almost half of gas grill fires. A little soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by forming bubbles. Replace worn or defective parts and perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Texas Railroad Commission’s Top Ten Thanksgiving Grill Safety Tips

  1. Only cylinders with an Overfill Protection Device (OPD) may be filled legally. Consumers can tell if their propane cylinder has an OPD if it has a triangular handwheel with the letters “OPD” on it, or if the tank has an OPD wrapper or warning label.
  2. Check used grills for worn hoses and proper air adjustments (blue flame). Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before grilling the first time each year. A little soap and water (50/50) solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by forming bubbles. Replace worn or defective parts and perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. If the grill is new, follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions and familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended operating and safety practices.
  4. Do not use a propane gas cylinder if it shows signs of external damage, such as dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, corrosion, leakage or excessive rust.
  5. After grilling, store the propane gas cylinder outdoors in an upright position, away from sources of ignition. Do not store cylinders indoors or within any enclosed space.
  6. Always open the grill hood before lighting, and light according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Always grill in a well-ventilated area. Do not grill indoors or close to the side of a house or other structure.
  8. After filling or exchanging a cylinder, place it in your vehicle in an upright position and take it home immediately. Do not leave it in your vehicle for extended periods of time.
  9. To turn the cylinder valve off or on, remember “Righty, Tighty…Lefty, Loosey.” When done with grilling, close the cylinder valve.
  10. When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep clean.

For more information contact the Commission’s Alternative Energy Division at 800-64-CLEAR [800-642-5327] or online athttp://altenergy.rrc.texas.gov.