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Grill safely this barbecue season: AAA reminds grillers to be mindful of safety


Thu, Jun 30th 2016 10:40 am

Editorial by AAA

Summer means warmer weather, more daylight and outdoor cooking!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, June and July are the peak months for summer grill fires, with nearly 9,000 fires each year caused by grills, hibachis and other barbecues.

"Grilling season is a great time to enjoy friends, family, food and the outdoors, but accidents can happen," said David Weber, vice president of insurance at AAA Western and Central New York. "Before you barbecue, take a few minutes to review grilling safety tips and to ensure your equipment is working properly."

Before firing up your grill, consider some important tips from AAA WCNY for safe summer barbecues.

Safe barbecuing tips:

  • Before grilling, read and follow the owner's manual.
  • Place your grill at least 10 feet away from walls, deck railings and decorations, such as umbrellas.
  • Never grill indoors or in confined areas; charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide fumes that are fatal in unventilated areas.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and know how to use it.
  • Never leave a grill burning unattended.
  • Grease can cause flare-up fires. Keep your grill clean by removing grease and build-up from the grill and trays.
  • If the flame on your grill goes out, turn the grill and gas off. Wait at least 15 minutes before relighting and always make sure your grill lid is open before igniting.

Grill maintenance and storage:

  • When setting up at the start of grilling season, check grill hoses for cracks, holes and blockages. Blockages caused by food drippings or insects can be cleared with a wire or pipe cleaner.
  • Run a soap solution - one part liquid soap, one part water - along hoses and at connections. If the solution bubbles, then there is a gas leak that needs repair.
  • Store propane tanks outside and away from your home. Always check to ensure valves are turned off.

What your insurance covers:

Following the tips above may help prevent a grill fire spreading to your home, but if a fire does occur, a standard homeowners policy typically covers the following:

  • Damage to the primary residence.
  • Damage to personal possessions, such as tables or lawn chairs.
  • Damage to insured structures on your property, such as sheds or gazebos.
  • Injuries to a guest, under the liability portion of the policy.

AAA Insurance has earned "Brand of the Year" status in the auto insurance category, according to the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. To find out more about homeowners insurance, call your local AAA agent or 888-671-7044 to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.

As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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