With temperatures on the rise and daylight stretching into the evening, the summer season is almost here! And when you inevitably fire up the grill this summer, be sure to foo so safely—the U.S. Fire Administration estimates grill fires to be responsible for $37 million in property damage annually, while the National Fire Prevention Association approximates that grill-related injuries account for close to 20,000 individual ER visits per year.
Keep it outside
Pretty self-explanatory, but a good place to start. There’s never a good reason to bring a large open flame indoors. To protect your grill from the elements, invest in a grill cover.
Give your grill some personal space
You wouldn’t enjoy being confined to a cramped corner of your deck, and your grill doesn’t either. Only difference is that grills can react to claustrophobia with combustion. Take the time to follow the U.S. Fire Administration’s recommendations and ensure your grill has 3 feet of space on all sides.
Stoke your flame safely
Whether you’re using gas or charcoal to power your BBQ, proper ignition is key to a safe cookout. If your grill is of the gas variety, be sure to lift the lid before turning your gas on and lighting the flame. For a charcoal powered unit, make sure the lids and vents are opened during the lighting process and after to ensure sufficient oxygen reaches the briquettes. One of the best options for lighting a charcoal grill is using old newspaper under the coals; simply light the paper and let the heat transfer to the briquettes. If you choose to use lighter fluid, do so sparingly; the recommended ratio is a 1/4 cup of lighter fluid per pound of charcoal, with a 30 second wait before lighting to allow the charcoal to absorb the fluid.
Keep an eye on your cooking
Another straightforward but crucial tip—don’t leave your grill to its own devices as your food cooks. Staying at your grill as you cook is the simplest way to ensure things don’t get out of hand. If they do, turn off your grill’s burners and gas supply, and douse the flames with baking soda.
As tempting as it may be to put off cleaning your grill after a successful cookout, it’s an important element of grill safety after each use. Doing so will help remove excess grease and food remnants that can start fires, as well as extend the life of your grill. For charcoal units, let the coals cool before moving them to a metal container for storage before disposal.
From all of us at Insurance Freedom Associates we we wish you a safe and relaxing summer 2021, and as always, we are here and ready to assist residents of Danville, Lewisburg, Milton, Norry, Selinsgrove, and the surrounding area with all their home and car insurance needs.