At the first signs of warm weather many folks head directly to the barbecue grill to start that greatest of summertime traditions -- grilling,. To ensure everyone enjoys their backyard bistros unencumbered by unfortunate mishaps, following is a list of steps to avoid becoming "well done":

Make sure your grill is serviced and cleaned annually, following manufacturer's instructions for care and use.

Leak check all hoses and fittings on gas grills with a dish detergent and water solution. If any "bubbling" appears, have the grill serviced by a certified technician.

Whenever changing propane tanks make sure all connections are tight.

More Information

Fact box

When transporting propane tanks for refilling/exchange they must be secured upright. An old milk crate works well to stabilize tanks for transport. Never transport in trunks.

Never leave a tank in the car while doing other errands -- full tanks sometimes will start to "off-gas" in the heat build-up inside of a parked car.

Keep grills at least 3 feet away from combustibles (i.e. your home).

Always dispose of ashes from charcoal grills in metal containers with a tight lid.

Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start your charcoal -- only use approved charcoal lighter fluid. Once the charcoal is started, do not add more lighter fluid.

Never use a grill -- gas or charcoal -- indoors.

The New Canaan Fire Marshal's Office encourages safe summertime grilling.

For more information, call 203-594-3030.