Labor Day barbecue safety tips

Florence, SC - By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A Labor Day barbecue can quickly turn bad if the grill master forgets a few key safety tips.

Before cooking, experts say to make sure the burners are turned down low before turning on the grill.

"When they light it, it flames up and possibly burns their hands, scorches their eyebrows," said Lance Williams, who works at the Home and Garden section at The Home Deport. "

"It can be very dangerous."

Williams said wood stick matches and electric lighters are just a few ways to start the fire. However, those who grill often say the stick matches tend to burn quickly and can burn your finger tips.

"I prefer to use the old style method," said Larry Iskra of Florence. "I put paper underneath small pieces of wood, light the paper with a match, and once it starts. Then I add more wood."

Extended lighters are another option of starting a fire while keeping your hand far enough from the flame.

If using a charcoal grill, Williams said to soak the charcoals in lighter fluid for approximately one minute. He also suggested lighting the pile around the edges to lower your chance of getting burned.

When you are done using the grill, experts say to turn off switch the valve to the *off* position on the propane tank, then turn off the burners.

If the valve is loose or rusty, it may need to be replaced.

"Anytime you're valve seems like it doesn't want to tighten, you can't get it all that tightened, like it still sounds like it wants to seep a little bit, that's a good indicator that your valve stem needs to be replaced."

Several outdoor and home improvement stores will replace the valve free of charge.

When transporting a propane tank, carry it upright. Safety experts say it is best to transport it in an uncovered car, such as a pick-up truck. However, you can roll down the windows if transporting it in a car.

Safety experts also warn that a propane tank should never be in temperatures above 125 degrees.

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