An Auburn man was lucky that he only sustained minor injuries after his propane grill exploded and caught his deck on fire when he went to light it according to and the Citizen Staff.

So, what happened? Firefighters suspect that the propane hose had a leak or something blocked a burner and the buildup of propane ignited into a fireball when he tried to light the grill.  Propane is heavier then air so when there’s a leak it fills the area around the propane tank.

I had a similar thing happen to me. I was going to grill up some delicious burgers and went to warm up the grill. I started the grill, but the burners went out and I didn’t realize it. I hit the igniter when I noticed, not thinking about the buildup of propane and BOOM it exploded. Luckily my “cat-like” reflexes kept me from losing my eyebrows. However, it did catch our deck on fire! I learned two things that day: One, I can run much faster than I think when my stuff is on fire and two, always have a high quality fire extinguisher handy. I put the fire out, hid the evidence from my wife, relit the grill and cooked some delicious burgers.

According to the New York Firefighters Association, firefighters are called for grill related fires 8,600 times a year! That’s a lot of charred ribeyes….and eyebrows!

Here is the definitive list on how NOT to blow yourself up with your grill this summer.

  • Your grill should be at least 10 feet from your house and not on your wood deck. Preferably on a concrete slab.
  • Before you fire up the grill check the propane tank and hose for leaks.
  • If you haven’t used your grill check for incests, especially bees. They will build nests in the grill burners and can cause a buildup of gas.
  • If the burner goes out, leave the lid open and the doors open for at least 5 minutes before trying to relight your grill.
  • Don't leave your grill unattended. Especially with kids or pets around.
  • Lastly, have a quality fire extinguisher close by when your grilling….and throw a burger on for me….I’m hungry!

Be safe grilling this season!