Summer and Fall Grill Safety

Has this ever happened to you? You turn on the gas to your grill, try to light it and nothing happens. A few seconds pass, you keep hitting the ignite switch and finally it lights with force, due to all of the gas that’s been slowly leaking out. Most of the time the little blast does no harm, but serves as a gentle reminder that it could have been worse.

This is just one of the many summer grilling mishaps that are common among homeowners in Washington. According to the product safety organization Underwriters Laboratory (UL), outdoor grilling is responsible for approximately 19,000 emergency room visits per year and 7,900 house fires. Grilling is, and should be, but there are some things to keep in mind before sparking up the gas or charcoal:

  • Make sure your grill is placed a safe distance from your house, and don’t place it under overhanging branches.
  • Check gas tank and hoses regularly for cracks, leaks or sharp bends in the hose.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from flame or hot spots on the grill.
  • Don’t leave a propane container in the back of a hot car before or after filling. The heat can build up pressure, causing an explosion.
  • Use grills in an open area or patio, as opposed to on a surface that could catch fire, such as on a porch or inside a garage.
  • Never grill inside (including campers and tents).
  • Always have a fire extinguisher handy when grilling.
  • Don’t add gasoline or kerosene to a fire that’s already going, and only use charcoal starter fluid on coals, not other types of flammables.
  • Keep children away from hot grills.
  • Use proper cooking utensils, such as long handled ones and over mitts, to prevent burns while cooking.
  • Don’t leave grills unattended or in a spot that’s not visible to you at all times, especially when there are kids and pets around.
  • Make sure charcoal is completely out before disposing.
  • Make sure to turn the gas off when done cooking.
  • Don’t cover grill or put it away until it’s completely cooled off.

For more information about fire prevention, check out the National Fore Protection Association’s (NFPA) downloadable tips. (PDF)

Also, don’t forget to ask Griffin MacLean Insurance Agency about our fire safety tips.

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