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Barbeque Grills & OPD Devices


Gas Grills Safety

 Many injuries are caused each year when gas grills are improperly used and consumers take
uneducated chances regarding grill safety. A fire or explosion can occur when consumers first
use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time or just after refilling and
reattaching the grill's gas container. To reduce these risks, consumers should follow
these gas grill safety tips. It might prevent a tragedy.

- Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is extremely flammable.
Consumers should use extreme caution and always follow manufacturer's instructions
when connecting or disconnecting LP gas containers. Never
attempt to repair the tank
valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.

- A gas grill should be checked for leaks every time the cylinder is replaced.

- Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease.

- Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage and push it through to the main part of the burner.

- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.

- Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.

- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.

- If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.

Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can eventually leak gas.

As of April 1, 2002 cylinders without OPD's cannot be used.

An OPD (Overfilling Prevention Device) is a safety feature that helps prevent small propane cylinders from being overfilled.

There are limits to how much propane can be put into a cylinder.  A properly filled cylinder will have a vapor space left in the top of the cylinder to allow room for expansion of the liquid with a change in atmospheric temperature.  An overfilling prevention device is a secondary means of assuring that cylinders are not overfilled.

There are at least two ways to identify OPD equipped cylinders.  New cylinder wrappers and/or warning labels will include this information.  Second, most cylinders with OPD's have special triangular the letters "OPD" (However, some OPD's were produced before the letters on the valve handles and valve bodies were required so check the wrapper or label or ask your propane refiller to identify the type of valve on your cylinder.

Beginning in October of 1998 all newly manufactured small propane cylinders (capacity of 4 pounds up to 40 pounds) are equipped with an overfilling prevention device.  

Contact us

 Call (574) 272-2144
Fax (574) 272-4043
Write: 18355 Auten Rd
 South Bend, IN 46637
Police-Fire-EMS-Dial 911


David Cherrone
Fire Marshal
Ron Melser Jr.
Lieutenant, Fire Prevention Specialist

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

 Evening Information

For all Non-emergency information during evening and weekend hours please leave a message with duty shift.  Your call will be answered on the next day's regular business hours.

Storing / Transporting   LP Gas

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the grill and
    use caution when storing LP gas containers.
  • Always keep containers upright.
  • To avoid accidents while transporting LP gas containers, consumers should transport the container in a secure, upright position.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk.
    Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

Gas Grills safety features

Consumers should consider purchasing grills that have these safety features:
a device to limit the flow of gas in the event of hose rupture; 

a mechanism to shut-off the grill;
a feature to prevent the flow of gas if the connection between the tank and the grill is not leak proof.

Check for gas leaks!

  • Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions, if you smell gas or when you reconnect the grill to the LP gas container.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions, however you can also take a soapy solution (one part dish soap, five parts water) and pour it over the connections. The solution will begin to bubble if there is a leak.
  • If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and do not attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed! Do not attempt to repair or fix the leak yourself!
  • Keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.

All outdoor grills have the potential to lead to tragedy when carelessness causes structural fires or serious burns to people and pets. According to the Insurance Information Institute, backyard barbecues result in more than 2-thousand fires, over 300 grill related injuries and 3 or more deaths each year.
Please follow the safety tips on this page when using your gas grill or barbeque.

Avoid Deadly Grilling Dangers

  • Keep a fire extinguisher accessible near your grill area when you begin.
    Be sure you know
    HOW TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER before you need it!

  • Be sure all children know how to dial 911 for any emergency situation.

  • Do Not wear loose clothing while cooking.


  • Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, party tents, patio, fire escapes or under a surface that can catch fire.

  • All grills in use should rest at least 15-20 feet from the house, car,
    trees and party decorations.

  • If you live in a condo, townhouse or apartment complex, gas grills are prohibited on balconies or covered patios.  

  • Never leave any grill unattended or allow children to play or run in the area of the grill.

  • Remember that alcoholic beverages are flammable! Keep them away from the grill.



 Date Last Modified: Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Mailing Address:  18355 Auten Road, South Bend, IN 46637
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