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Avista Provides Tips on Using Natural Gas Barbecues Safely

Spokane, Wash., May 26// -- Spring provides the opportunity for Northwest residents to enjoy one of the region's favorite pass times – barbecuing. And natural gas barbecues or gas grills make cooking outdoors convenient and affordable, while ensuring that you'll never run out of economical fuel again. To stay safe while cooking on a natural gas grill, Avista Utilities provides the following tips:

Before you turn it on
. Start the season with a clean grill.
. Check the metal tubes (venturi) that extend under each burner for spiders and other insects that like to make a home in the tubes. Spider webs and insect nests can block gas flow and cause a fire. Check your manufacturer's instructions to see if your natural gas grill has "spider guards" to prevent this problem.
. If your natural gas grill does not have spider guards, check and clean the metal tube under each burner throughout the season:
. Make sure the gas grill is turned off or disconnected before cleaning.
. Use a small flexible brush to remove debris from the metal tube. Also use a thin wire, not toothpick, to gently clean the holes or ports of each burner.
. If your natural gas grill has a snap-in, snap-out coupler, or disconnect, make sure the connection is secure before turning on your grill.

Lighting the grill
. If a burner fails to light or if the flames go out, turn off the grill. Wait a couple of minutes for any gas to dissipate before trying to relight the grill.
. The burner flames should be blue with a small yellow tip. If the flames are any other color, have a your natural gas grill checked by a qualified repairperson.

While barbequing
. Make sure to keep combustible materials such as paper products, linens and clothing away from burners.

After barbequing
. Check that the burners have been turned off, as well as the valve on the natural gas supply.
. Keep the hood closed to prevent water from getting into the grill. You may consider using a plastic cover for added protection.

Other facts
. A natural gas grill can be permanently installed in your backyard or on your patio. A gas grill can be connected to a hook up that taps into your home's natural gas supply ensuring you'll never run out of fuel.
. If a hook up is not currently in place, a gas contractor can extend gas piping from your existing house piping to your patio or backyard.
. If you already have a propane barbecue, you may be able to convert it to operate on natural gas. Check with a barbeque dealer to determine if a conversion will work for your grill.
. Cooking foods on a natural gas grill is healthier for you and the environment. Cooking with charcoal and lighter fluid release carbon monoxide fumes into the environment.
. Natural gas is safer than propane since it is lighter than air and will rise into the atmosphere in the event of a leak.

Regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance is the best way to ensure the safety, performance and reliability of all your natural gas appliances.

For other safety tips and information, visit Avista Utilities as www.avistautilities.com.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides electric and natural gas service to customers in four western states. Avista's non-regulated affiliates include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA" and its Internet address is www.avistacorp.com

Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACTS:

Debbie Simock

509-495-4174

debbie.simock@avistacorp.com

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