Did you know that three out of five households own a gas grill? And 75% own at least one outdoor grill or BBQ. That might be the reason the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports a yearly average of 8,900 home fires caused by grilling.
Since August is one of the peak months for grilling (actually, with all the rain we got in June and July, probably THE peak month), we thought we’d pass on some tips on safe grilling. Hopefully, the only thing you burn will be Uncle Chris’s hot dog!
First, some grilling facts:
- July is the peak month for grill fires, but, as we said above, we’ll bet August might take the prize this year. So, 17% of fires are during the peak month of grilling including structure, outdoor, or unclassified.
- The leading factor helping cause the fires was that people didn’t clean the grill enough. Another main cause was an item close to the grill caught fire.
- An interesting finding is that gas grills contributed to more house fires than charcoal. Leaks or breaks were the reasons. Plus, we’re guessing the easy touch with the gas may make grilling chefs a bit careless. There’s more work with the charcoal and it’s less exact so you have to be more attentive with your uneven charcoal fire.
The trouble with grills isn’t only the home fires they cause, it’s also injuries. In 2014, 16,600 people visited the emergency room because of injuries involving grills.
How to Avoid a Visit from Your Local Fire Department
So, what can you do to avoid an unintended invite to your local fire men and women? Here are some tips from the NFPA:
- Only use your grill outdoors! And place it away from your house, deck, eaves, and overhanging branches.
- Keep the kids away from the grill.
- Remove grease and fat buildup often. That includes the trays below the grill.
- Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting.
- Think about starting your charcoal fire with a chimney starter so you can use newspapers instead of starter fluid. Or use an electric starter. These are much safer.
- If you must use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Let’s not be throwing gasoline on the fire!
- Let the charcoal coals cool before disposing. Or, let them sit in the grill till next time.
Finally, here’s a tip if you have a propane grill to check for leaks in the hose. Create a soap and water mixture and rub it onto the hose. If there’s a leak there will be bubbles. In that case, turn off the grill and get it serviced.
Always remember, no matter what preventative measures you take, things happen. Your homeowners insurance policy does cover you for fire and smoke damage. Call us and we’ll take care of your claim.
If we don’t have your home insurance, call us today to get an estimate of your home’s replacement cost and a price from our most competitive company.
Here’s to safe, tasty grilling this year.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.