Get a Clean Start to Grilling Season: Tips for Cleaning Your Grill

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With Preferred Mutual’s Homeowners Insurance, that accidental grill fire is a covered peril! While we encourage you to enjoy your outdoor barbeques safely and take proper steps to prevent accidents.

As the weather gets warmer, many of us have already fired up our grills! With all the other spring cleaning that takes place between now and the official start to summer, it can be easy to forget some of the most important parts of grilling: cleaning and maintenance!

Too hot to handle!! According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 6,000 grill fires take place on residential property every year, most caused by malfunctioning gas grills. These fires cause an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100s of injuries and 10% of those injuries result in fatalities.

Whether you’ve been using your grill year-round or waiting until the spring-like weather has arrived, both dormant and active grills require a little love to keep them fired up through another season.

Don’t wait until the last minute!

Properly maintain and store your grill

Gas grills are generally safe if they are properly designed and constructed, properly maintained and regularly checked for leaks. Follow these safety tips when setting up at the start of each grilling season:

  • Search the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to make sure there has not been a recall on your model grill.
  • Check grill hoses for cracks, holes and brittleness.
  • Check for blockages, especially in the Venturi tube that runs to the burners. These can be caused by food drippings, spiders or insects. Clear any blockages with a wire or pipe cleaner.
  • Check for leaks by running a solution of one part liquid soap, one part water along hoses and on connections. Open the valve at your tank and check to make sure that gas isn’t escaping, which will be indicated by bubbles at the leaking points.
  • Adjust hoses away from hot areas or where grease might drip on them.
  • Cover your grill when cooled and not in use to help protect its parts from inclement weather, falling leaves, and insect activity.
  • Store propane tanks outside, away from your house. Always check to make sure valves are firmly turned off.

Millions of Americans safely enjoy their outdoor grilling time, but accidents do happen. Ensure a trouble-free summer of cooking fun by maintaining your grill, using it safely, and knowing what to do in case of an emergencies.

Practice safe barbeque habits

When barbecuing, use common sense:

  • Operate your barbecue on a level surface, away from your house, garage and landscaping.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and let everyone know where it is and how to operate it.
  • Don’t move the grill once it is lit.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Protect yourself—or whoever is doing the grilling—with a heavy apron and oven mitts that reach high on the forearm. Use very long-handled utensils designed for barbecuing.
  • Use only lighter fluid designed for grilling when charcoal grilling. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids, and never add more lighter fluid once the fire has started.
  • Never grill indoors or in enclosed areas. Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO) fumes, which can be fatal in unventilated areas.
  • Wait until the grill is cooled before storing or covering. When you’re done cooking, remember that the grill will remain hot for a while.
  • Soak charcoal briquettes with water to ensure they are cool and inactive before throwing them away.

Know what to do in case of an accident

Despite all good efforts to prevent them, accidents do happen. Which is why they're called accidents—and why people have insurance! Here are steps to take if the worst should happen:

  • In case of fire, get out the trusty fire extinguisher and, if the situation warrants, call 911. Fire spreads quickly and it's better to be safe with professional help than sorry.
  • Address injuries immediately. Run cool water over minor burns, but do not cover injured areas with bandages, butter or salve. In the case of serious burns, take victims to the emergency room or an urgent care facility. Again, if needed or when in doubt, call 911.
  • Assess your property damage. Once you have dealt with any injuries and the smoke clears, assess your property damage. If the situation calls for it, contact your insurance agent to discuss filing a claim.

The best way to enjoy a summer barbeque is to take proper steps to prevent accidents, and take fast action should any occur!

With Preferred Mutual’s Homeowners Insurance, that accidental grill fire is a covered peril! While we encourage you to enjoy your outdoor barbeques safely and take proper steps to prevent accidents, our promise at Preferred Mutual is to help you Live Assured, so if your cookout goes up in flames, we’ll cover it!

All descriptions of coverage are subject to the actual provisions of the policy, which should be consulted to determine whether any given loss is covered. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.

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