Insurance Agency Blog

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Grilling Safety and Homeowners Insurance

Backyard grilling safety and homeowners insuranceIt’s that time again when millions of Americans look forward to outdoor barbecues. If you’re among them, then there are some things you should know before you fire up the grill.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) warns that about 5,700 grill fires happen each year on residential property, and most are caused by improperly functioning gas grills. These fires cause on average 100 injuries and ten deaths, not to speak of an average $37 million in property damage. Moreover, hospital emergency rooms see thousands of people with burn injuries resulting from barbecuing.

Accidents will happen, but there is much less chance if you practice safe grilling and grill-maintenance.


Safe barbecuing practices

  • Be sure that your barbecue grill is on a level surface away from your house, garage and other buildings as well as vehicles and other outdoor items. Once lit, the grill should not be moved.
  • Use only lighter fluid designed for grilling if you are using a charcoal grill and avoid adding more lighter fluid to the charcoal once lighted.
  • Always grill in a well-ventilated outdoor area – never indoors. As charcoal burns, it gives off carbon monoxide (CO) fumes that can be fatal in a closed area.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and be sure it is rated for a grill fire.
  • Be sure that the person doing the grilling is protected from the flame and heat of the grill by wearing grilling mitts that cover the forearm and a heavy apron preferably made of fire-retardant fabric.
  • When cooking is done, leave the grill to cool thoroughly. Store charcoal embers in a metal container or soak them in water before discarding. Always wait until your grill is completely cool before covering or storing it away.
  • Never allow children or pets near the grill under any circumstances.

In case of an accident

Any accidents and injuries should be handled immediately. For severe burns, call 911 for emergency assistance. For less serious burns, consult medical help or apply first aid. For more, see what the Mayo Clinic has to say about burns and their treatment.

Then after dealing with injuries, be sure to examine any property damage. If needed, contact your insurance agent to submit a claim.

Grill maintenance and storage

Assuming you do regular maintenance on your gas grill and check it for leaks often, then it should be ready for grilling season. However, some models can develop structural or functional problems. So it’s advisable to check for product recalls for your grill on a regular basis.

The following tips can help to keep your grill in good working order.

  • Examine grill hoses to look for holes, cracks or brittleness as well as blockages. Any blockages should be cleared with a pipe cleaner or similar tool.
  • Check for leaks by applying a soap solution along hoses and at connections. Then open the valve at your tank and check for escaping gas which will be indicated by bubbles at the leaking points.
  • Adjust hoses if necessary to keep them from hot areas or where grease might drip on them.
  • Always be sure your propane tank valves are turned completely off and store the tanks outdoors, away from your house.

Need some help making the best meal ever on the grill?
Check out this one-stop site for your next outdoor get together.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

If a grill fire spreads to involve your home or other property, be aware that your homeowners insurance would typically provide financial protection since fire is a covered peril. Your policy would usually cover damage to your dwelling, structures and personal possessions on the property as well as injuries to any guests, up to the limits of your coverage and after your deductible has been satisfied. If your deductible is high and your damage is minimal, filing an insurance claim might not make sense. However, it is best to check with your insurance agent for the best guidance.

The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents  at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.

Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:00