June is the perfect time of year to invite friends and family over for a backyard barbecue. The sun is out, the sky is blue and the hot dogs are practically begging to sizzle over glowing coals.
But remember, grilling has its risks.
Facts & Figures from the National Fire Protection Association
- U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,200 home fires per year in 2005-2009 involving grills, hibachis or barbecues, including an average of 3,400 structure fires and 4,800 outdoors fires. These fires caused an average of 15 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries and $75 million in property damage per year.
- 29% of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio; 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch; and 6% started in the kitchen.
- Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in half of home outdoor grill fires. In 50% of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 55% of the outside gas grills, and 36% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.
The figures don’t lie. Grilling is serious business. In an effort to keep you and your friends and family safe this season, Burkhart Insurance Agency of Covington, KY offers a few general tips for a safe grilling experience.
General Safe Grilling Tips
Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
Before lighting your grill, make sure you have a fire extinguisher close at hand in case the fire spreads from the grill.
Read the owner’s manual.
Always read the owner’s manual before using your grill and follow all instructions and safety precautions.
Never use a grill indoors.
Never barbecue inside of a home, trailer, tent, garage or any other enclosed area because the accumulated carbon monoxide can kill you.
Setup the grill on a stable surface.
Make sure you setup the grill on a stable surface like a concrete slab to keep it from tipping over during use.
Use utensils with long handles.
Use long-handled barbecue utensils to avoid burns and splatters from a hot grill.
Don’t leave a lit grill unattended.
Once you light a grill, never leave it unattended.
Keep guests away from a hot grill.
Don’t let guests hang around a lit grill or immediately following its use. A grill can stay hot for up to an hour after being used.
Wear safe clothing.
Make sure the clothes your wearing while grilling don’t have any frills, strings or hanging shirt tails that can catch fire.
We hope you enjoy lots of safe barbecues at your home this summer. And remember, if you need home insurance, you know who to call—Burkhart Insurance Agency. We’ll make sure you have the protection you need.