I’ve gotta go along with Sean when he said (in reporting a similar recall last August) “sometimes I’m glad I don’t own a gas grill.” The manufacturer and importer of the SLG series “Perfect Flame” brand outdoor propane or natural gas grills is voluntarily recalling almost 663,000 of the above-pictured model in the United States and an other 1,700 in Canada. Why?
The firm has received about 40 reports of fires from the burners deteriorating and about 23 reports of the lids catching fire. The firm is aware of one report of an eye injury requiring surgery and 21 incidents of minor burns to the hands, arms, or face.
The recalled grills are “stainless steel or painted black or gray metal” and the CSPC has published a listing of specific model numbers included in the recall here. (If you have one of these grills, you can find your model number “in the compartment under the cooking chamber.”) The grills in question were sold exclusively at Lowe’s stores between September 2005 and May 2009 and in Canada between December 2007 and May 2009.
And one follow-up to Sean’s comment about “hearing of folks’ houses burning down after faulty shutdowns.” From him, I suppose, it’s hearsay. But the “folk” he’s talking about is my father, a long-time machinist and pretty all-round capable guy. A hose failed on his couple-year-old gas grill starting a small fire, which he relatively quickly put out. But according to the fire department, even though the wall nearby was cool to the touch, inside it was smoldering near the ignition point. It took eight more hours before it ignited, catching his kitchen — and eventually the whole house — on fire. Thankfully he escaped, though he almost bought the farm turning back just a few yards to grab his wallet.
- Pay attention to your grill and its maintenance. Both charcoal and gas grills can easily start fires. If you have a gas grill, pay attention to all parts of the system from gas bottle to burner. If you have a charcoal grill, pay close attention to where you store charcoal and starter fluid, and always dispose of charcoal correctly. (You’d be amazed how many fires start from people throwing not-quite-cold ashes into a trash can. Doh!) And whatever kind of grill you have, don’t assume it won’t catch fire. Watch it at all times when it’s in use, and don’t put it right next to your house.
- Don’t assume that once you’ve put out a fire in your house it’s completely out. Continue to watch the area carefully, and call in the pros if you have any doubt.
- If your house is on fire, get yourself and your family out immediately and don’t worry about your crap. My dad didn’t backtrack more than a little way down a hallway, but he ended up on his hands and knees and almost didn’t make it out. Every second may count, and waiting until then to make your exit is dumb. You can always replace stuff, or just damn well live without it. You and your family are not replaceable. Keep that in mind.
And if you have one of these grills, contact the importer at 888-840-9590 (or visit www.lowes.com) to get the replacement parts you need to make yours safe(r).