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BBQ Gas Bottle Storage Safety

26 Jun, 2023 | SWAP'N'GO Blogs

In this article:

Quick BBQ safety checklist covering transportation, storage and setting up
BBQ Overall Safety

9 BBQ Gas Bottle Safety Tips – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety

(Plus Bonus – 16 Cooking Tips for Great BBQ Food)

Never store gas bottles indoors, including garages, vehicles, sheds or under the house. Keep them outdoors for BBQ gas bottle safety, in case of a leak. Gas bottles should be upright and never laid on their side or upside down. This includes when in transport, when it should be secured.
For BBQ gas bottle safety, gas bottles always need to be on a solid base in an upright position for the pressure relief valve to work properly. BBQ gas bottles can’t be safely stored indoors, near an ignition source or exposed to heat. No more than two 9kg BBQ gas bottles can be safely transported in your car boot.
BBQ gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) and BBQ grill safety include soapy water leak test, preventing BBQ fires & toxic gases and gas bottle safety storage.
Keeping gas bottle upright, soapy water leak test, having good ventilation, storing away from ignition sources, avoiding excessive heat and transporting safely are among the basics for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety).
BBQ gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) also includes learning the attaching & detaching barbecue gas bottles in safety and emergency procedures.
All of these are important for your family’s safety.
So, it’s time to review our BBQ safety and gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) basics for a safe BBQ season…

BBQ Gas Bottle (Propane Tank)

BBQ gas bottles, typically made of steel or composite material, are for storing the common LPG gases, propane or butane. BBQ gas bottles come in many sizes. The most common BBQ gas bottle size is 9kg (20 gallon propane tank). There are also smaller sizes, like 4kg and 2kg, as well as larger sizes like 13kg BBQ gas bottles.

BBQ gas bottles are used for more than just BBQs. Outdoor heaters, power generators, lawn mowers, outboard motors, pizza ovens and smokers are just a few of the other uses for BBQ gas bottles.

Homes and small businesses typically use either 45kg gas bottles, the larger 90kg or 210kg LPG gas bottle sizes. High volume users have the larger LPG tank sizes.

BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – Gas Bottle Storage Regulations – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety

BBQ gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) and gas bottle storage regulations include safe BBQ gas bottle storage, BBQ gas bottle handling, BBQ gas bottle operation, transporting BBQ gas bottles, protecting BBQ gas bottles from falling or impact, gas bottles in bushfires, gas bottle fittings and questions like “How many gas bottles can I transport in my car?” and “Can I store gas bottles indoors?”

BBQ Gas Bottle Safety –  LPG Gas Cylinder Safety Checklist – A Quick Summary:

  • Perform soapy water BBQ leak test every time you attach a fresh full BBQ gas bottle, for BBQ gas bottles safety (LPG gas cylinder safety)
  • BBQ gas bottle safe (LPG gas cylinder safety) storage should be done outdoors in a well ventilated space
  • BBQ gas bottle safe storage should never be indoors for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety)
  • BBQ gas bottles safe (LPG gas cylinder safety) storage should always be upright and secured from falling – Never lay a BBQ gas bottle on its side
  • BBQ gas bottle safe storage should not be near an ignition source for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety)
  • Always keep BBQ gas bottles cool and away from flames, sparks & heat
  • Detach the BBQ gas bottle and store it separately outdoors, if BBQ or heater is stored indoors
  • BBQ gas fittings and BBQ gas hose fittings should be inspected for damage or deterioration before each use
  • Always turn gas off at the BBQ gas bottle, when finished with use
  • Do not use undue force to open or close the BBQ gas bottle valve
  • Transport BBQ gas bottles secured and upright in the boot, not in the passenger compartment for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety)
  • Do not transport more than two 9kg BBQ gas bottles at a time and make sure the valves are closed

Please keep reading for the full list of all of the BBQ gas bottle safety advice.

What are the Gas BBQ Grill & BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety Basics?

The gas BBQ grill and gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) basics in summary…
  • BBQ emergency procedures for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety)
  • BBQ gas bottle safe (LPG gas cylinder safety) placement
  • BBQ gas bottle safe storage
  • Preventing BBQ gas fires
  • The safe way to turn of the BBQ gas bottle
  • Safe connecting & disconnecting of gas bottles
  • BBQ gas bottle safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) leak test
Keep reading for all the details of each…

9 BBQ Gas Bottle Safety Tips

1. BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – Soapy Water Leak Test for LPG Gas Cylinder Safety

It is important to regularly leak test your BBQ gas bottle, gas regulator and hose for BBQ gas bottles safety (LPG gas cylinder safety). Soapy water leak test detects leaks from these items are frequently the cause of BBQ gas fires.

How to Soapy Water Leak Test for Gas Bottle Safety (Gas Cylinder Safety):

To do the soapy water leak test, start by putting some soapy water in a spray bottle.

Turn on the gas bottle without turning on the BBQ.

Next, spray the entire valve, gas regulator and hose assembly with the soapy water.

Bubbles will form if there is a gas leak and you may also smell the gas.

When done, rinse with clean water to remove the soap solution.

For more details, please see:

BBQ Gas Leak Test

2. How To Attach or Change Your BBQ Gas Bottle Safely

You should know the correct way to change gas bottles for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety).

Connecting & Disconnecting:  The male connector of a POL gas regulator has a reverse or left-handed thread.

So, to detach, you turn it clockwise and then anti-clockwise to re-attach.

For full step-by-step instructions, please see:

How to Attach or Change Your BBQ Gas Bottle

3. Turn Your BBQ Off at the Gas Bottle First for BBQ Gas Bottle-Cylinder Safety

The best BBQ gas bottles safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) practice is to get onto the habit of turning your BBQ off at the gas bottle first for safety.

This does three important things.

First, it ensures that you don’t completely forget to close the gas bottle valve.

It also uses up all of the gas remaining in the gas lines so you are safely storing your BBQ with no remnant gas remaining in the unit.

More importantly, it eliminates the possibility of leaks from all of the burners and the gas regulator connection while in storage.

Please see:

Turn Your BBQ Off at the Gas Bottle First

4. BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety to Prevent BBQ Gas Fires

For BBQ gas bottles safety (LPG gas cylinder safety), you should visually inspect the hose for cracking, splitting or other damage.

The real culprit in gas BBQ fires is typically the hose or BBQ gas regulator.

Hoses and gas regulators deteriorate with age and can start leaking.

It’s the gas coming from these leaks that ignites and causes the vast majority of BBQ fires.

You should inspect the gas regulator for damage, paying special attention to the part that screws into the gas cylinder.

It should be clean, undamaged and if it has rubber O-rings, they also need to be undamaged.

BBQ Gas Bottle Safety Video

Please watch this 30 second Community Service Announcement

5. Safe Storage for BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety

It is best to store gas bottles outdoors in a safe, well ventilated space, for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety).

It is not safe to store BBQ gas bottles indoors.

BBQ gas bottles should always be stored upright and safe from any ignition source.

For safe storage of your BBQ or patio heater indoors, when not in use, you should always detach the gas bottle first and store it separately outdoors

6. Where to Place Your BBQ for Use is Part of BBQ Gas Bottle Safety – LPG Gas Cylinder Safety

BBQ gas bottles safety (LPG gas cylinder safety) includes adequate ventilation, which is essential when using a BBQ to allow the gas to burn and burnt gases to dissipate. BBQs should NEVER be used indoors because of the risk of toxic fumes, smoke or even fire.

BBQs should never be used near flammable objects and children should be kept safe, away from the gas BBQ and gas bottles.

7. BBQ Emergency Procedures for Gas Bottle Safety (Gas Cylinder Safety)

If any leakage from the valve of a gas bottle is detected or suspected, move the BBQ gas bottle safely away to a location at least 20 metres from any possible source of ignition for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety).

Check valve is turned off.  Keep away from flames and sparks and hose with water.

If it is not possible to stop the leak, keep the leak uppermost so that only gas, and not liquid, escapes.

Keep hands and face away from any escaping gas or liquid.

In an emergency dial 000 for Fire Brigade or Police

8. Charcoal vs Propane Health Issues

A big problem with charcoal is that it emits almost 3X the amount of CO2 that is produced when you use LPG (Propane).

This greenhouse gas depletes the ozone layer which, in turn, increases the risk of skin cancers.

Charcoal is also derived from biomass and creates much more smoke and particulates.

Both have adverse health effects.

A scientific study also revealed that meats grilled with charcoal contained more carcinogens than meat heated with LPG.

These carcinogens are called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – PAHs.

Charcoal also burns hotter, charring the meat and creating HCA (heterocyclic amines), which is yet another carcinogen.

So, LPG grilling is arguably healthier than using charcoal.

9. What is the Best Gas BBQ for Gas Bottle Safety (Gas Cylinder Safety)

What is the best gas BBQ for gas bottle safety (gas cylinder safety)?  The answer is not what you expect…

The best gas BBQ is the safest gas BBQ.

The same is true for best small gas BBQ and best outdoor gas grills.

This means a BBQ that has a safety certification label and is well maintained.

Everything else falls under the category of convenience features.

Nice to have but not essential.

Now that you know how to stay safe…

16 BBQ Cooking Tips for Great Grilling

1. Ice it, Cook it or Eat it

Keep it clean and keep it cold until you cook it or eat it.

Practice good food safety and preparation.


2. Oil Me Up!

You should always season the grill.

Pre-heat the clean grill and coat with cooking oil, using a brush or spray.

Close the grill and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes then wipe the grill clean with a fresh damp cloth.

The concept is the same as the seasoning of a cast iron fry pan.


3. To Be or Not to Be Open…  That is the Question

So, how do you position the BBQ lid?

Just as some things are cooked on the kitchen cooktop and some in the oven, the type of food you are cooking will determine if you leave the BBQ lid up or down.

Generally speaking, do what you would do if you were cooking indoors.


4. Now We’re Cooking – Outside In

Steaks, burgers, and veggies, that need to be seared or cooked from the outside inward, should be placed directly over the burners.

A little olive oil brushed on the steak will prevent it from sticking.

Do NOT use salt on the meat before cooking, as it draws out the moisture and makes the meat dry.

If you do salt it as you start cooking, use coarse salt to get a nice salty crust.

A bit of coarse black pepper can be nice, too.


5. Stunning Striped Steaks

Always pre-heat the grill and take the meat out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking.

Sear the meat for 90 seconds on high heat and then rotate it 1/8 of a turn (45 degrees) and sear again.

This will give it an attractive crosshatch pattern, assuming you are not cooking on a flat plate grill, and help seal in the natural juices.

Remember to reduce heat to normal cooking temperature after searing.


6. I Need My Space

You should only turn the meat once.  Be patient!

The meat needs room, too.  Don’t overcrowd the grill or it can heat unevenly.

There should be at least 2cm between the pieces of meat.

Also, make sure you have enough gas so that the cooking session is uninterrupted.


7. No Poking, Prodding or Mashing

To retain the natural juices, don’t poke holes in the meat!  This includes piercing the sausage skins.

Use long handled tongs or spatulas instead of BBQ forks.

Also, don’t mash down on meat and burgers, as it forces out the natural juices and leaves you with dried out meat.


8. Leave Me Alone… I’m Resting

Let your grilled meat “rest” for five minutes after cooking, covered loosely with foil, to ensure more tender and juicy results.

Letting the meat rest also applies to roasts and other cooked meats, as well.


9. Slow Cooking – Inside Out

Whole chickens, roasts, and most fish fillets require indirect heat.

Try preheating the grill with all burners then, when the grill is hot, turn off one side of grill, put the slow cooking food over the unlit burners and close the lid.

In effect, it becomes an oven.  This will help cook the meat evenly, browning it while keeping it juicy and tender.

Use a meat thermometer, where appropriate, to determine when it is done.


10. Pouch Protector Preparation

You can use aluminium foil to create little cooking pouches for delicate foods, like fish fillets.

Cook away from the lit burners or place the pouch on the warming rack, if you have one.


11. Warm & Wonderful

You can toast bread, cook delicate foods or just keep cooked food warm by using your warming rack.


12. I’m Smokin’!!!

Wood chip smoke can enhance the flavour of your food.

You put the wood chips in a steel smoker box or in a small aluminium foil tray within the BBQ.

Hickory is a good all-round choice, if you are just starting.

Smoker boxes and wood chips can be found at BBQ specialty stores.  Follow the wood chip supplier’s instructions.


13. Leftover Pizza?

Did you know that a gas grill is the perfect way to reheat pizza?

Just set the BBQ on low, preheat, put the pizza directly on the grill and close the lid.

Heat until cheese starts to melt.


14. Flare Up?  Lid Down!

Use lean cuts of meat and/or trim away the fat to reduce the chance of flare ups.

Make sure the grease tray is empty before you start, too.  Very high temperatures should also be avoided.

However, if it does happen, flip down the grill lid and turn OFF all burners and the gas bottle, if safe to do so.

When the flare up is over, you can resume cooking.

NEVER spray water on BBQ flare ups or on any grease fire.


15. Marvelous Marinated Meat

For more intense or varied flavours, consider using meat marinades.

You marinate the meat before you BBQ, as instructed by the marinade maker or recipe.

You can use large freezer bags for marinating.

Just put in the meat and marinade, seal and shake.  Refrigerate, shaking it occasionally, until you’re ready to BBQ.

Make sure you drain off any excess marinade before cooking and do NOT pour it over the meat while cooking.


16. A Little Something on the Side

If your BBQ is equipped with a side burner, you can use it just like a kitchen cooktop.

This adds to the selection of dishes you can choose to cook outdoors.

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