Light It Right This May ‘Two-Four’ Weekend

Photo by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash

This long weekend, make sure the only fireworks you’re seeing are those in the sky. As many folks will be hauling out and firing up their barbecues to mark the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) has important safety reminders for lighting it right this long weekend….and beyond.

For a sizzling success, practice sensible and safe barbecuing by starting off with this FOUR-STEP CHECK:

  • Test for Leaks
    • Clean burner ports and tubes; Use a pipe cleaner or wire to ensure burner ports are free of rust, dirt, spider webs or other debris.
    • Check the hose leading from the gas tank to the burner and replace it if cracked or damaged.
    • Test for leaks with a 50/50 water/dish soap solution on propane cylinder connections and hoses. If bubbles appear, it could mean gas is leaking out so tighten the connection and/or replace the damaged parts and re-test.
  • Light it Right
    • Before lighting, make sure the BBQ is on level ground, far away from any flammable material, with the lid open. Turn the tank’s gas valve on, then the grill controls or heat setting and push the igniter button.
    • If there is no igniter button, insert a long match or BBQ lighter through the side burner hole first, then turn on the heat control knob.
    • If the burner does not ignite right away, turn the gas off and wait five minutes, keeping the lid open, before repeating the procedure.
    • Never lean over the grill when you are lighting it.
  • Keep it Outdoors
    • Always barbecue outside in a well-ventilated area – BBQs are approved for outdoor use ONLY. They emit carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Propane cylinders may not be used or stored inside any structure.
  • Stay Safe
    • BBQs are intended to be attended.
      • Never leave your cooking/grill unsupervised.
      • Keep kids and pets away from the BBQ
    • Keep any flammable items/liquids away from the BBQ. This includes the use of hand sanitizer, whose 60-80% alcohol-based content makes it highly flammable. While hand sanitizer is safe when used correctly it can be a dangerous combination when barbecuing. Keep this in mind, exercise caution and opt for thorough hand washing when getting ready to grill.
    • Never throw water on a grease fire.

BBQing on Apartment or Condo Balconies: YES or NO?

Ontarians living in apartments and condominiums should be aware of additional safety restrictions and potential hazards related to barbecue use on balconies. Barbecues may be prohibited by the municipality or in the Condominium bylaws of your building or prohibited by the building owner or property manager, so be sure you are aware of any restrictions in place for your building.

  • DON’T BBQ on a Balcony IF:
    • Prohibited in the bylaws of your municipality and/or condominium.
    • Prohibited by the building owner or property manager of a rental property.
  • DO BBQ on a Balcony but Only IF:
    • Permitted in the bylaws of your municipality and condominium.
    • Permitted by the building owner or property manager of a rental property.
    • The balcony is open (no enclosures or walls have been erected).
    • A propane cylinder is transported in a service elevator; when there are no service elevators, you may use the passenger elevator, but you must be alone.
    • The cylinder is kept on the balcony and connected to the BBQ.
    • The BBQ is kept clear of combustible material as listed on the BBQ’s rating plate or in the certified instructions.
    • The propane cylinder relief valve is at least one (1) metre horizontally from any building opening below it, and three (3) metres from a building air intake.

SOURCE Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA)


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