Grill Safely This Barbecue Season

AAA Northway reminds grillers to be mindful of dangers
AAA Insurance Team

It’s grilling season, but before firing up your grill, consider some important information and tips from AAA Northway for safe summer barbecues.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, some 5,700 grill fires take place on residential properties every year. Most are caused by malfunctioning gas grills. These fires cause an average of $37 million in damage annually to properties, structures and possessions, including gazebos, sheds and lawn furniture. And thousands of people visit emergency rooms every year because they’ve burned themselves while grilling. 


“Grilling season is a great time to enjoy friends, family, food and the outdoors, but accidents can happen,” said Bruce Lant, Managing Director, Insurance with AAA Northway. “Before you barbecue, take a few minutes to review grilling safety tips and to ensure your equipment is working properly.”


Safe barbecuing tips

  • Before grilling, read and follow the owner’s manual.
  • Place your grill at least 10 feet away from walls and deck railings to prevent fires from igniting buildings. Keep your grill away from decorations, such as hanging plants and umbrellas.
  • Never grill indoors or in confined areas; charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide fumes that are fatal in unventilated areas.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and know how to use it.
  • Never leave a grill burning unattended.
  • Grease can cause flare-up fires. Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat build-up from the grill and grill trays.
  • If the flame on your grill goes out, turn the grill and gas off. Wait at least 15 minutes before relighting and always make sure your grill lid is open before igniting.


Grill maintenance and storage

  • When setting up at the start of grilling season, check grill hoses for cracks, holes and blockages. Blockages caused by food drippings or insects can be cleared with a wire or pipe cleaner.
  • Run a soap solution – one part liquid soap, one part water – along hoses and at connections. If the solution bubbles, then there is a gas leak that needs repair.
  • Store propane tanks outside and away from your home. Always check to ensure that valves are turned off.


What your insurance covers

  • Following the tips above may help prevent a grill fire spreading to your home, but if a fire does occur, a standard homeowners policy typically covers the following:
    • Damage to the primary residence
    • Damage to personal possessions, such as tables or lawn chairs
    • Damage to insured structures on your property, such as sheds or gazebos
    • Injuries to a guest, under the liability portion of the policy


To find out more about homeowners, condo, or renters insurance, call your AAA agent or 1-866-222-0937 to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.