10 tips for a chill grilling season

Friends enjoying grilling on a BBQ

Barbecue season is upon us! Before you light up the grill, consider these 10 tips to prevent fire-related injuries and damage to your home:

  1. Check for gas leaks at the start of the season. To do this:
    • Mix up some liquid dish soap with water
    • Apply the soap solution to the hose that connects the tank to your barbecue using a brush or spray bottle
    • Turn the propane tank on and watch the hose and connections closely
      If there is a gas leak, you’ll notice bubbles around the hose or connection points. If there are bubbles, turn off the tank, tighten the connections and inspect the hose for holes, and then do the soap test again. If there are still bubbles, you should turn off the gas tank and have your barbecue serviced by a professional before you use it.
  2. Keep your barbecue at least 3 metres from your house. This includes other structures that are attached to your house (like garages and carports), too.
  3. Avoid placing patio furniture and plants next to the barbecue. When you’re designing your Pinterest-perfect patio space, keep in mind that furniture and other flammable items should be kept far away from your grill and other fire elements.
  4. Turn the gas on with the barbecue lid open. If you turn on the gas with the lid closed, gas can build up inside the grill, which can cause a major flare-up when you light and open it. Never turn the gas on with the lid closed.
  5. Keep water on hand. In the event of a minor flare-up, a spray bottle filled with clean water can help you control the flames without ruining your dinner.
  6. Clean your barbecue regularly. A build-up of grease and oil can cause dangerous flare-ups, so clean your grill regularly to keep the flames at bay.
  7. Don’t overload your grill with fatty meats. The more fat you allow to drip onto the flames at a time, the more likely you are to experience a big flare-up.
  8. Never use your barbecue (or any other fuel- or charcoal-run grill) indoors. Not only is this a fire hazard, but barbecues and other grills also release carbon monoxide, which can harm your family.
  9. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Learn how to use it and make sure it’s working before you need it.
  10. Never leave your grill unattended. A fire can develop in an instant when you’re not there to stop it. While it might be tempting to run inside and finish prepping the rest of your meal while the burgers are on the barbecue, it’s safer to bring your food prep outside with you or finish up indoors before lighting the grill.

Accidents can happen when you least expect them to — that’s why they’re called accidents. Connect with your licensed home insurance broker to make sure you have the coverage you’ll need in the event of a grill-related mishap this summer.

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