AAA Insurance reminds grillers to be careful this season
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19, which is considered by some the official start to the grilling season! Before firing up the grill to cook for dad, consider some important information and tips from AAA Insurance for safe seasonal barbecues.
According to the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP), fire departments around the United States report 10,600 home grill fires annually, including 4,900 fires per year in or on structures. Summer is the peak season for grill-related fires that add up to $135 million in direct property damage per year. The U.S. Fire Administration notes that almost half of home grill fires happen between 5-8 p.m. during the summer months when grills are used more often. Furthermore, 79% of all grill fires are from gas grills.
“Father’s Day and grilling season are great times to enjoy friends, family, food and the outdoors, but accidents can happen,” said Stacey McConnell, vice president of insurance with 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.”
AAA’s top three tips to ensure safe barbecuing:
•Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
•Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat build-up from the grill and trays. Grease can cause flare-up fires.
•Never grill indoors or in confined areas; charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide fumes that are fatal indoors.
Additional safe barbecuing tips:
•Before grilling, read and follow the owner’s manual.
•Place your grill at least 10 feet away from walls and deck railings to prevent fires from igniting buildings. Keep your grill away from decorations, such as hanging plants and umbrellas.
•Never leave a lit grill unattended.
•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 & 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 that valves are turned off.
What Your Insurance Covers
•Following the tips above may help prevent a grill fire from 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
To find out more about homeowners, condo, or renters insurance, call 888-671-7044, go to www.AAA.com/Insurance, or visit your local branch 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 Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 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.