Safety tips: Outdoor grilling

Here are some grilling safety tips from the Erie Insurance website:

Barbeque Grill Safety

Each year about 600 fires/explosions occur with gas grills, causing injuries. Many of the accidents happen the first time a grill is ignited for the season or after the grill’s gas container is refilled and reattached.

Before you plan your next outdoor cookout, review these safety tips:

  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Make sure your grill’s propane tank has a three-prong gas valve handle. As of April 1, 2002, the three-prong design replaced a five-prong handle as the safety standard.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Always keep propane gas containers upright.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
  • Make sure your spark igniter is consistently generating a spark to create a flame and burn the propane gas. If the flame is not visible, the heavier-than-air propane gas may be escaping and could cause an explosion.
  • Never bring the propane tank into the house.
  • When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.
  • Keep children and pets far away from grills.

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips

Keep in mind that charcoal when burned in grills produces carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year about 17 people die as a result of CO fumes from charcoal being burned indoors or in a poorly ventilated area. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers.
  • Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.
  • Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

ERIE® insurance services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). Not all companies are licensed or operate in all states. Not all products are offered in all states. Go to erieinsurance.com for company licensure and territory information.

Albion Agencies, Inc. is a licensed insurance agent/broker only in the State of New York.

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York. As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to determine your specific insurance needs.

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