Grilling Safety from Etler-Kettenacker Agency

Etler-Kettenacker Agency wished everyone a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!  July is grilling safety month at EK Agency.  Grilling safety is often not thought about when sharing festivities with your family but it is important to keep some general safety guidelines in mind.  According to National Fire Protection Association, July is on average the peak month for grill fires affecting a home.  On average, 8,000 grill fires occur every year involving barbecues, grills, smokers and hibachis.  The following are some grilling safety statistics that will give you an idea of the actual dangers of grilling and how it can affect your lives, home and property insurance.  These statistics are designed to educate and not dissuade you from enjoying your grilling time with you family and friends.

  • The Home Safety Council reports that fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional injuries and related deaths;
  • The National Fire Protection Association reports that on average, grill fires cause 13 deaths, 120 injuries and $70 million in property damage a year;
  • Four out of every five grilling fires involved in home fires were fueled by gas (81%) and 17% were fueled by charcoal or other solid fuel;
  • Children under five years of age make up 22% of burn injuries involving grilling activities.

 Now that the statistics of the dangers of grilling have been presented here are some simple grilling safety tips that when used will make your grilling time with family and friends a safe and enjoyable time and way to prepare holiday feasts. 

  • Never leave your grill or barbecue unattended.  You can prevent a grilling fire from occurring by simply keeping an eye on the grill.
  • Choose the right location for grilling activities.  It is important to keep children and pets away from the grill while in use.  Grilling away from flammable items such as dry leaves and wood is imperative.  Always grill outside and never inside your home, garage or tent.
  • Keep your grill clean.  Only after a few uses a pound or more of grease can collect in your grill thus causing flare ups from grease can cause a fire that can be destructive and dangerous.  Simple regular cleaning of your grill can prevent grilling fires.
  • Be prepared to put out a file.  Having a fire extinguisher handy and knowing how to use it is an excellent tool in preventing small fires from grilling from getting out of control.  Fire extinguishers can be purchased for as little as $30 and are well worth the investment.
  • Use the right tools for grilling.  The use of long tongs or spatulas with heat resistant handles keeps you safe from burns.
  • Stay sober while grilling.  It is recommended by the NFPA that you wait until after grilling to have that ice cold beer or cocktail so you can be aware of what is happening on the grill and be able to react to a fire.  Many people enjoy an alcoholic beverage while grilling.  It is our recommendation that common sense is used when drinking and grilling
  • Follow manufacturer instructions.  Reading the manual for your new grill is recommended.  Not all grills are designed the same.  Many people forgo reading the manual but taking just a few minutes to review your grills capabilities and warnings for your grill can save you from unintentional grilling mistakes that can cause a fire. 

 These are just a few grilling safety tips offered by Etler-Kettenacker Agency to help keep you, your family and your home safe.  Common sense and review of these tips will make your grilling season a safe and enjoyable one.