NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Now may be good time to check your barbecue after it appears a propane barbecue explosion may have caused a house fire in North Vancouver yesterday.
    
The BC Safety Authority has a laundry list of things to look for and to avoid to make sure your propane barbecue is safe.
    
Things such as not smoking around the tank, always cleaning the grill and replacing your gas container every 10 years.
    
“Don’t have it under flammable overhangs, certainly don’t leave it unattended.  Keep your pets and children away, as you would from anything hot,” says the authority’s Eric Skehore.
    
Barbecue retailer Gary Johnstone also suggests sniffing for strange odours.  “Obviously a nose is the best thing that’s a number one indicator of a gas leak.”
    
A few other things to keep in mind is keep the grill clear of grease build-up, dust, debris and even cobwebs.  Keep the tank upright and leave it outdoors and when turning it on, turn the knob tightly to avoid a leak.
    
Burners will crack after a while and should be replaced every three to five years.

Tips from the BC Safety Authority

•Transport cylinders in an upright position
•Use a cap to cover the cylinder outlet, when transporting or storing
•Never transport or store a cylinder in a passenger or living area
•Store cylinders outdoors, off the ground on a fireproof base
•Keep out of the reach of children
•Never smoke near a propane tank
•Inspect the propane cylinder and replace if rusty or damaged

Set-up and maintenance
•Carefully follow the assembly instructions included with your barbecue. If you’re not sure about something, take it back to the dealer for help or call a qualified propane technician.
•Make sure the burners and tubes connected to the burners are rust and debris-free, and that the burner throat, where the propane enters the burner, is free of dust or cobwebs.
•All hoses and joints should be carefully looked at to ensure there are no leaks where gas can escape. Leaks, if ignited can send out huge flames.
•Never check for leaks with an open flame.
•Remove lava rocks and grates to clean.
•Clean the grill and burners regularly to avoid grease build-up.

Lighting the barbeque
•Always open the lid before lighting so that gas does not build up.
•Open the cylinder valve first, then the burner. Immediately use the igniter switch.
•If you do not have a working igniter switch, have your barbeque lighter handy when you are preparing to light the grill.
•If the burner does not ignite, with the lid open, turn off the gas and wait five minutes before trying again.
•When finished using the barbeque, close the propane cylinder first followed by the burner controls. This way, propane does not get trapped in the hose when the grill is not in use.

Everyday use
•Use gas grills outdoors only. Even grilling in the garage with the door open does not allow for enough ventilation.
•Position your barbeque at least three metres away from windows, doors, wooden fences and walls, and branches.
•Never use lighter fluid, gasoline or other accelerants on the grill.
•Keep children and pets away from the barbeque especially when in use.
•Keep loose clothing away from a hot barbecue.
•Use long-handled tongs and brushes while grilling. It puts you at a safer distance away from the flames.
•Never move a lit barbeque.
•Make sure the barbeque is turned off, and completely cooled before covering.