As a huge Alabama Fan, ROLL TIDE Y’ALL, I love to grill out on game day. I am proud to say I have also recently taken up fantasy football, so now Sunday football is also part of my fall ritual. That means jerseys, chili cheese dip, the TV blaring, everyone cheering, and of course, grilling out! Hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, corn, BBQ chicken...okay, I am hungry now. Hmmm, what was I saying? Oh yes, the grill. The place where people congregate, and the grill master gets to wear her (or his) Kiss the Cook apron.
But so many people forget that the 100-pound, steel black, hot grill on your porch, is also a potential hazard! Now, you might stop reading this now, because it sounds like blasphemy. DON’T! Keep Reading! You will thank me later.
I recently had to go take photos of a property to prove that the grills on the porches had been moved back 10 feet from the property. Why? Because grills, even though considered a “friendly fire” still cause damage. A friendly fire is described by the International Risk Management Institute as, “An intentionally kindled fire that remains within its intended confines, such as in a furnace or fireplace.” A hostile fire is considered, “A fire that becomes uncontrollable or expands outside its intended boundaries. For example, a fire set intentionally to burn brush becomes hostile if it spreads to other property.”
Whether hostile or friendly, when the hot ashes from your grill catch your screened in porch on fire, you will not be too happy. According to the National Fire Protection Association, grills, hibachis, and barbecues were involved in an average of 10,200 home fires per year from 2013-2017. These fires caused over $123 million in direct property damage, 10 percent of these damages coming from an outside wall catching fire. So how do we prevent these types of fires from happening?
Insurance carriers require that grills and barbecues are kept at least 10 feet away from the structure. If you have a propane grill, check your tank for any possible leaks before grilling season occurs. For all types, properly clean the grill by removing excess grease, and move any flammable items away from the grill, whether hot or cold.
If a fire ever does occur, immediately call your local fire department. Make sure to have your insurance agent’s phone number stored as well, so you can start the claim process.
As we have found, don’t let your game day become game over. We all want our team to be victorious, and not have firefighters show up!
Alexandra Lysik is a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Agent in North Carolina and South Carolina. Her independent insurance agency, Cavik Insurance, helps people save money and receive free insurance reviews to make sure they have the right coverage for auto, home, condo, umbrella, boat and all lines of commercial insurance. For more information visit www.cavikinsurance.com.
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