5 Common Grill Safety Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
Summer and grilling go hand in hand. But did you know that each year, 8,900 home fires and 16,600 trips to the emergency room happen across the country as a result of grilling accidents? While your everyday summer barbecue may seem safe, it’s important to make sure you are handling your grill safely each and every time you use it! Read on to find out if you’re making any of these 5 common grilling mistakes.
1. Not Wearing Protective Clothing
Since many homeowners grill frequently, they may forget the importance of wearing protective clothing. Wearing an oven mitt and apron each and every time you grill can help to protect you from minor burns caused by hot surfaces, grill tools, or flying embers.
2. Storing Your Grill or Propane Tanks near Your Home
While you want your grill to be easily accessible, it’s important to make sure that safety comes first when determining your grill placement on a patio or deck. When in use, make sure your grill is placed far away from your home, including deck railings and eaves. If you own a gas grill, remember that propane tanks can be explosive. Your extra propane tanks should be stored away from your home, even when they are not in use.
3. Not Cleaning Your Grill
Failure to clean the grill is one of the leading factors contributing to grill fires. All grills require regular cleaning to ensure that built up grease and fat do not become flame hazards. Make sure you are cleaning both the grill surface and the trays underneath regularly.
4. Failing to Check Your Gas Grill for Leaks
In addition to cleaning your gas grill regularly, it is also important to check for potential leaks. You can check for leaks by wetting the hose and connections with soapy water and looking for bubbles. If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas tank and grill and suspend use until it can be serviced by a professional. If you smell gas while the grill and propane tank are turned off, call the fire department immediately.
5. You Don’t Treat Your Coals with Care
If you own a charcoal grill, it is important to make sure you are handling your coals properly from start to finish. When lighting your coals, only use approved lighter fluid and never use gasoline. Once you’ve finished grilling, make sure you soak your coals before putting them in the trash.
If you have homeowners insurance, your policy may provide coverage for injuries to guests or property caused by grilling accidents. Check with your local insurance agent to make sure you have adequate liability coverage should a guest or invited visitor ever be injured on your property. But even with the extra protection that home insurance provides, it is much wiser to prevent these types of grilling accidents before they occur. For even more information about how to grill safely this summer, visit the NW Insurance Council website for additional charcoal and gas grill safety tips.