Summer Grilling Safety
At AMSkier Insurance, we look forward to summer every year. We are also keenly aware of the hazards and risks that come along with our favorite season. An often overlooked summer hazard likely occurs in your backyard every week. Each year, thousands of Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills.
In order to stay safe during your summer barbeque parties, follow these ten tips:
- Place your grill at least 10 feet away from your home. The further your grill is from your home or portions attached to your home, the better. This includes attachments like carports, garages, porches, wooden overhangs or similar. This tip applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
- Make sure gas isn’t leaking from your grill. A simple way to do this is to make a solution comprised of half liquid dish soap and half water. Rub this solution on all hoses and connections and then turn the gas on with the grill lid open. If soap forms large bubbles, this is a sign that there are leaks; hoses have tiny holes or connections are not tight enough.
- Keep your grill clean. Grease is a major source of flare-ups. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, you are providing more fuel for a flare up and fire.
- Keep all decorations away from your grill. Most decor today is made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
- Keep a spray bottle of water nearby. If you have a minor flare-up, you can spray it with the water to instantly calm the fire. Plus, water won’t harm your food, so if it didn’t get scorched by the fire, you can still have dinner.
- Know how to use your fire extinguisher and keep it within a couple steps of your grill. Often, you only have a few seconds to act, so if you’re not sure how to use your fire extinguisher, don’t try to figure it out before calling 911. Many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help.
- Do not turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. Keeping the lid closed while your turn on the gas can cause gas to build up in your grill. If you light your grill after the gas has built up, a fireball may explode right under your nose, and in your face.
- Do not leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute, so make sure all your food prep chores are done so you can focus on grilling. If you must walk away from the grill, keep the cover closed and turn off the gas.
- Do not overload your grill with food. This is especially important for fatty meats. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that can catch other nearby things on fire.
- Never use a grill indoors. People think it will be safe to use a small grill indoors, but this is not true. In addition to being a fire hazard, grills also release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. Do not risk the lives of you, your family and your pets.
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