Top 10 Tips for Safe Grilling This July 4


AUSTIN —This Fourth of July, the Railroad Commission of Texas, the agency in charge of propane safety in Texas, is spotlighting safety for the state’s estimated 6 million “barbecue households” that own propane gas grills.   

“Texans love to grill,” said Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Barry T. Smitherman.   “The upcoming holiday is the perfect opportunity to get into the habit of performing safety checks on grilling equipment so that every barbecue or cookout can be fun and safe.”    

Commissioner Christi Craddick reminded grill users to check their grill before firing it up.  “Leaking cylinder valves or hoses account for almost half of gas grill fires,” Craddick said.  “Replace worn or defective parts and perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Railroad Commission of Texas’ Top Ten Grill Safety Tips

  1. 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. 

  2. If the grill is new, follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions and familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended operating and safety practices.

  3. 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.

  4. Always open the grill hood before lighting, and light according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  5. Always grill in a well-ventilated area. Do not grill indoors or close to the side of a house or other structure.  

  6. Don’t take an empty cylinder inside your propane retailer’s store or cylinder exchange.  After filling or exchanging a cylinder, secure 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. 

  7. When shutting the grill down, close the cylinder service valve before turning the burner grill knobs to the off position. This will ensure there is no gas between the cylinder and the burners when the grill is not in use.

  8. To turn the cylinder valve off or on, remember “Righty, Tighty…Lefty, Loosey.” 

  9. 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, such as a garage.

  10. When a grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep them clean.

Texas has 900 propane outlets. You can find one near you at

For more information contact the Commission’s Alternative Energy Division at 800-64-CLEAR [800-642-5327] or online at


About the Railroad Commission

Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including more than 90 years regulating the oil and gas industry. Additionally, the Commission promotes research and education on the use of alternative fuels and has jurisdiction over gas utility, surface mining and pipeline industries. Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. To learn more, please visit