Common Sense: Outdoor Grilling Safety

Americans fire up barbeque grills more than three billion times a year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  Each year U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. These fires cause an annual average of more than $80 million in direct property damage.   Firing up your grill is a great way to kick off a summer full of outdoor fun.  Since an improperly handled grill can cause fires, exercising common sense will help keep your summer from becoming tragic and costly.  


Back-yard grillers with Homeowners Insurance can have peace of mind knowing that standard homeowners policies cover fire damage to your home, its contents and structures on your property.  Your homeowners policy covers fire caused by a barbecuing accident.  However, the cost, hassle and danger associated with a fire can be reduced or eliminated by following common sense safety guidelines that can make an insurance claim unnecessary.


Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance offer these tips to help you safely enjoy this summer’s barbecues:

  • When grilling, protect yourself by wearing a heavy apron and an over mitt that fits up over your forearm.
  • With gas grills, make sure the gas cylinder is always stored outside and away from your house.  Make sure the valves are turned off when you are not using them.  Check regularly for leaks in the connections using a soap and water mix that will show bubbles where gas escapes.
  • Barbeque grills should be kept on a level surface away from the house.  Be sure to leave sufficient space between the grill and siding, eaves, garage, landscaping, and most of all, children.
  • For charcoal grills, only use starter fluid designed for those grills.  Never use gasoline and  use a limited amount of starter fluid.  If the fire is too slow, rekindle with dry kindling and add more charcoal if necessary.  Never add more liquid fuel or  you could end up with a flash fire.
  • Be sure to soak the coals in water before you put them in the trash.


For a quote on your Homeowners Insurance call Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance at 503-227-1771.

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