While the great menu debate between hot dogs vs. hamburgers will likely rage on for years, one Labor Day barbecue idea is making sure you don’t get burned on your insurance coverage. Here are some statistics from the National Fire Protection Association over the last five years:
- U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,400 structure fires and 4,800 outside fires. These 8,200 fires caused an annual average of 15 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries and $75 million in direct property damage.
- More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 6% started in the kitchen.
- In 50% of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 55% of the outside gas grills, and 36% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.
The good news? That homeowners policy recommended by your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent should cover accidental damages such as the above whether you burn down your house or the whole neighborhood.
Here are a few safety ideas and tips to keep your barbecue from burning you:
Labor Day Barbecue Safety Ideas and Tips
- Grills are for outside, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area. The carbon monoxide also may accumulate and kill you.
- Use in well-ventilated area. Avoid fire hazards as well as potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning by setting up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and be aware of wind-blown sparks.
- Keep grill stable. Be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill can’t be tipped over.
- If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
- Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
* Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
- Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
- Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
- Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot for as long as an hour after being used. Make sure kids or adults tossing a football, playing volleyball, etc. are clear of the grilling area.
- Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.
If you’re looking for the right insurance coverage, find a Trusted Choice agent in your area. If you’re still looking for Labor Day barbecue ideas, maybe The Food Network’s Grilling Central is the place…