Summer is here, and for many Americans that means it’s grilling season. Over three billion barbecues take place each year! While grilling can be fun, it can be perilous without the proper precautions. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 5,700 grill fires take place on residential property every year, causing an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 deaths. Here are some tips to help keep you and your home safe:
Choose a safe location for your grill.
Operate your barbecue on a level surface, away from your house, garage and landscaping. Don’t move the grill once it is lit
Use fuel correctly.
Avoid the urge to take shortcuts. Never use gasoline or too much starter fluid. Don’t add starter fluid once the grill is lit. If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed.
Never grill indoors or in enclosed areas.
Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO) fumes, which can be fatal in unventilated areas.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Don’t forget post-grilling safety.
Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.When you’re done with your cooking, remember that the grill will remain hot for a while. Don’t cover or store your grill until it has cooled, and soak coals with water before throwing them away.
If an accident does occur, address any injuries immediately. Once you have dealt with any injuries, assess your property damage and, if the situation calls for it, contact your insurance professional to discuss filing a claim. Enjoy the season, and above all, be safe!