Spring into safety: Get your BBQ in check

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - The start of spring is upon us and with that,
the perfect time to get ready for main barbecue season. Whether planning a
little culinary flair in the backyard or getting ready to fire it up at the
cottage, the safety experts with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority
(TSSA) want to put a little safety in your sizzle before your first cook-off.
    To get your barbecue ready for grilling season, make this three-step
safety check part of your spring cleaning routine:

    1.  CLEAN: use a pipe cleaner or wire to make sure the burner ports are
        free of rust, dust, dirt, spider webs or other debris.

    2.  CHECK: examine the hose leading from the fuel supply to the burners.
        Replace if cracked or damaged.

    3.  TEST: find leaks by applying a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap
        to all fuel and hose connections. If bubbles appear, tighten the
        connections and/or replace the damaged parts and always re-test.

    In addition to these opening season safety checks, keep you and your
family safe by always using your BBQ outdoors. If used in an enclosed space,
carbon monoxide - an odourless, colourless, poisonous gas - will gather and
reach dangerous exposure levels, which can lead to serious health effects,
even death.

    Using propane BBQs on the Balcony?

    You may be one of the many Ontarians who live in an apartment or
condominium - but are you aware of the safety issues and restrictions involved
when using barbecues on balconies?
    Barbecue use may be prohibited by the Condominium Act of your building or
prohibited by the building owner or property manager, so ensure you have
determined what restrictions are in place for your building.
    If barbecues are permitted in your building, there are still some
regulations you need to be aware of:

    -   The balcony must be open (no closures or walls have been erected).

    -   Cylinders must be transported in a service elevator. When there are
        no service elevators, the person must use the passenger elevator
        alone to transport the cylinder.

    -   Cylinders must be kept outdoors.

    -   The barbecue must be clear of all combustible materials.

    -   The cylinder relief valve must be at least one metre horizontally
        from any building opening below it, and three metres from a building
        air intake.

    Remember once again - barbecues are only approved for outdoor use. It is
always better to be safe, so if uncertain about the condition or any part of
your barbecue, including your propane cylinder, replace it with a new
component. Parts are readily available at most hardware stores and building
    If you are uncomfortable performing safety checks and repairs on your
propane or natural gas barbecue yourself, please contact a certified
fuels-related technician. All technicians must be certified by TSSA. If unsure
whether your technician is certified, ask to see their certificate number. If
you are still unsure, contact TSSA at 1-877-682-8772 for verification.
    Order your free safety kit by visiting TSSA's public safety website at
www.safetyinfo.ca or call us at 1-877-682-TSSA.

    About TSSA

    TSSA is an innovative, self-funded, non-government organization focused
on delivering public safety services. It provides not-for-profit regulatory
safety services in industry sectors such as natural gas, petroleum, propane
fuels and equipment, amusement devices, elevating devices, boilers and
pressure vessels, operating engineers, and upholstered and stuffed articles.
The organization's vision is to be the world leader in public safety services.

For further information:

For further information: Bernadette Celis, Communications Advisor,
Public Education, Technical Standards and Safety Authority, Telephone: (416)
734-TSSA (8772) or 1-877-682-8772, Email: media@tssa.org

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