Grilling Safety 101: Preventing Fire Hazards for a Summer of Sizzling BBQs
In the summer, many people fire up the grill for barbecues with friends and family. However, there are dangers to be aware of. The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that about 5,700 grill fires occur annually on residential properties.
If a grill fire spreads on your property, your homeowners insurance may provide financial protection. A fire is a covered peril, but the insurance experts at Interstate Insurance Services can confirm your policy’s covered incidents and discuss any limitations. As it pertains to grill fires, a standard policy typically covers the following:
- Damage to the house itself
- Damage to personal possessions (e.g., lawn and patio furniture)
- Damage to insured structures on your property (e.g., shed and gazebo)
- Injuries to a guest
Of course, the best way to enjoy a summer of outdoor cooking is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice griller, consider the following safety tips:
- Stay attentive. Never leave the grill unattended. Avoid distractions, assign a responsible adult to monitor the grill while in use and keep a close eye on the cooking process.
- Choose a safe location. Place the grill on a level surface, away from overhanging branches, dry grass or wooden structures. Maintain a safe distance from your home and flammable objects, allowing for adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of harmful gases.
- Clean equipment thoroughly. Before starting, clean the grill to remove grease or food particles. Scrub the grates with a grill brush to prevent flare-ups that can lead to accidents.
- Check for gas leaks. For gas grills, inspect the gas lines for leaks. Apply soapy water to connections and hoses, then turn on the gas. If bubbles form, it indicates a leak. Turn off the gas, tighten connections or replace faulty parts before using the grill.
- Maintain a safe distance from others. Keep children, pets and flammable items at least 3 feet from the grill to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Prioritize fire safety. Have a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it properly. In case of a small flare-up, smother the flames with baking soda or a fire blanket. Avoid using water for grease fires, as it can worsen the situation.
To ensure a memorable and accident-free summer, prioritize safety while grilling. Accidents happen, so check with Interstate Insurance Services to better understand your homeowners insurance coverage and adjust your policy accordingly. Once you have a plan, fire up that grill, invite your loved ones and create lasting memories while keeping safety at the forefront of your barbecues.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.