What’s the fourth of July without burgers? Or summer without relaxing cookouts with family and friends?
For many Americans, summer’s the time of year we make the most use of our grills. But if you don’t know how to use your grill safely, a fun barbecue can turn into a horrific disaster if the equipment catches fire. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, each year between 2012 and 2017, fire departments responded to 10,200 home fires that involved grills, barbecues or hibachis. Moreover, these fires led to on average 10 fatalities, 160 injuries and approximately $123 million in property damage annually. To learn more about your options for home and health insurance, visit Grand Mutual Insurance.
So to help you enjoy your grill safely, we’ve put together these practical grilling safety tips:
- Place your grill at least 10 feet away from structures, bushes, and trees. According to ABC News, you should make sure there’s sufficient space between your grill and any structures — such as your home, shed, garage or carport. In addition, don’t place your grill near bushes or trees, as these could also catch fire. And of course, never place your grill under an awning or worse — inside.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill. This is one of the most important grilling safety tips you can follow. Playing children and hungry pets shouldn’t be allowed near the grill under any circumstances. Little fingers are easily burnt, and pets could get seriously injured trying to jump on the grill to snag a piece of meat.
- Place the grill on a flat surface. The more stable your grill is, the less likely it is to tip over and cause a fire or injure someone. It’s best if you have a flat, paved space that’s specifically reserved for the grill.
- Check a gas grill for propane leaks before use. If you smell a gas odor or if the grill won’t light, it indicates a gas leak. You should also apply soapy water to the gas tank hose — if it bubbles, there’s a leak. Don’t try to repair the leak yourself — instead, take the grill to the hardware store where you bought it.
- Always monitor the grill when in use. This will enable you to react quickly in the event something untoward happens.
- Never place too many pieces of fatty meat on the grill at one time. This could cause a lot of fat to drip into the flames, which could cause in a fire.
- Have materials on hand to extinguish fires. For a small grease fire, you can use baking soda. For a larger one, you’ll need a Class B fire extinguisher. In cases of all other fires, you can use a Class ABC extinguisher.
- Be extra careful with a charcoal grill. After using it, dispose of the coals in a sealable metal container — but only after you’re absolutely certain they’re completely out.
- Always clean the grill thoroughly after use. This is important for both hygiene and fire safety reasons. Be sure to remove any grease buildup on the grill and the tray beneath it.
- Make sure you have sufficient home insurance coverage to protect your family and home from fires. Please contact our offices for more information.
Now, with these grilling safety tips in mind, you can enjoy a leisurely summer with lots of cookouts, delicious food and — most importantly — safe family fun!