Top 10 tips for safe barbecuing after grill explodes

Check your connections and clean your grill to prevent possible fires or even explosions when you start up the barbecue this long weekend.

Check your connections, clean your grill to prevent fires, explosions when you start outdoor cooking season

A man was injured earlier this week when he lit his barbecue in Charleswood and it exploded. (CBC)

Winnipeg's fire service has ten top tips for safe barbecuing as the season gets underway this long weekend.

Marc Proulx, education co-ordinator for the Winnipeg Fire Service, said the biggest mistake people make is bringing their grills out of storage and lighting them without checking them over and cleaning them first.

He offered the tips after a barbecue exploded in Winnipeg on Monday night.

"You need to do a spring cleanup on your tank, your connections," Proulx said.

  • Apply soapy water to the connection on your tank; if it bubbles, it's not properly sealed.
  • Check the line between the regulator and the burners — moisture can build up in the line.
  • Check for spiders and webs that could block holes, preventing the propane from flowing freely.
  • Turn on the gas so it flows freely, then turn it off.
  • Test strikers and clean them if there isn't a good spark.
  • Clean out excess grease buildup from the grill and base — it can ignite.

Once the barbecue is clean, Proulx said it's important to light it properly.

  • Open the lid and leave it open when you turn on the gas; propane is heavier than air and can build up in the barbecue and cause a flashover.
  • If it doesn't light, stop the gas immediately.
  • If using a match, strike the match first, put it through the hole, then start the gas and let it ignite.
  • Don't stand over the barbecue while lighting it.