Summer celebrations and outdoor cookouts go hand in hand. While you are kicking back and enjoying the festivities, it is important to remember to implement proper safety procedures while barbequing. Outside cooking grills cause more than 170 injuries each year and $35 million in property damage and loss, according to FEMA. Gas grills are at higher risk, having been involved in an average of 6,900 home fires from 2005 through 2009. Charcoal grills were involved in an annual average of 1,100 home fires during the same time period.
Here is a summary of some grilling safety tips. For a more extensive explanation of grilling safety, including helpful videos and a slideshow, we encourage you to visit the NFPA website.
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and placed well away from the home and deck railings. NEVER barbecue or grill in enclosed areas. Grills should not be placed under eaves or overhanging branches.
When using a propane grill, check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. You can do this by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If this test indicates a leak, or if you smell gas and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, do not attempt to use the grill until you have it serviced by a professional. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop. If you ever smell gas while you are cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
It is important that you DO NOT overfill the propane tank.
Be mindful of what you wear while you are grilling. A heavy apron and full coverage grill mitts (up to the elbow) are recommended. NEVER wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbeque.
Exercise great care and caution when using and handling lighter fluid. If you use a starter fluid, be sure to use only charcoal starter fluid. NEVER add lighter fluid to an existing fire. This can cause an explosion.
Pay attention to any children that may be nearby. Make sure that children are supervised at all times around the outdoor barbeque or grilling area. Keep all lighters and matches away from and out of the reach of children. Never leave the grill unattended.
How you dispose of hot coals is extremely important. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Douse the coals with plenty of water to make sure that the fire is out. NEVER place them in paper, plastic, or wooden containers.
As important as it is for you and your family to be safe this summer, it is also very important to make sure that your home is properly insured. Contact us and we will be happy to review your current Ormond Beach homeowners insurance policy, or give you a free quote on a new policy. We offer substantial discounts for retirees, multiple policy holders, and new home buyers.