Every year, what should be a fun outdoor occasion for family and friends instead turns into tragedy at nearly 9000 homes, causing deaths, injuries and costing millions in property damage. Lamunyon’s have seen quite a few disasters like this in the Hutchinson and Manhattan areas. A lot of damages can be covered by your homeowners policy, but why not take some precautions and avoid even having to make a claim? All types of grills represent a danger if used incorrectly or carelessly. The following is a brief, but by no means complete list, of precautions:
- Use a propane or charcoal grill only outside and AWAY from deck railings, overhanging eves and branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
- Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill itself and any trays underneath.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- If using charcoal, use the charcoal starter fluid only to start the fire. Once going, never add it or any other flammable liquid to it.
- When using charcoal grills, let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.
- For propane, check for leaks regularly using either soapy water or the smell test. If you smell gas, turn it off and get the grill serviced by a professional. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
There’s an old joke that men love to grill because of the flames and danger. Unfortunately, according to statistics from the NFPA, the danger from flames is far too real.
- In 2011, emergency rooms treated 16,000 people with injuries involving grills.
- Children age 5 and under sustained 26% of all thermal grill burns
- Of all grill fires, 83% involved gas, and 17% involved charcoal or another solid fuel.
- Average annual direct property damage due to grill fires: $75 million.
- Almost all property losses were to structures.
Enjoy the outdoors and grilling, just take the necessary precautions and stay safe. Remember Lamunyon’s is just a phone call away to help out if there IS any smoke or fire damage!