Sizzling Grills, Not Sizzling Properties: Preventing Fire Damage for a Worry-Free Summer

Ah, summer. It’s the season of pool parties, backyard BBQs, and a well-deserved break from the winter chill. But with these warm-weather festivities also comes a responsibility to ensure our fun stays, well, fun – and not the kind of excitement that involves frantic calls to the fire department.

As much as we love a good summertime barbecue, it’s critical to remember that grilling can sometimes lead to a little more sizzle than we bargain for. Yep, you guessed it—I’m talking about grill-related fires. They’re no joke and, unfortunately, quite common. The truth is, an estimated 8,900 grill fires happen each year at U.S. homes, causing an average of $110 million in property damage. Imagine the shock of a fun family cookout turning tragic in a split second—yikes! So, as we dust off our grills and fire pits for another season of outdoor enjoyment, it’s crucial to consider some safety tips to keep our summers both fun and safe.

The good news? We can prevent these incidents from happening. Prevention is the keyword here. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or in our case, a pound of well-grilled steak! Let’s get something straight. When we’re grilling, we aren’t just cooking – we’re handling a potentially hazardous piece of equipment. Grill fires can get out of control in a heartbeat, and they’re responsible for roughly 160 injuries and 10 fatalities every year. One golden rule is to keep your eye on the grill while it’s in use. And beyond that, there’s a whole list of do’s and don’ts that can help prevent a family cookout from turning tragic. Ensure your grill isn’t positioned under any wooden overhangs and is at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structures. Clean your grill regularly to avoid a buildup of grease, which can spark a fire.

Moreover, backyard fun isn’t just limited to grilling. Summer also sees its fair share of bonfires and outdoor fire pits. These, too, come with their own set of precautions. Always have a 10-foot clearing between your fire and any structures or objects that could catch fire[5]. Make sure your fire isn’t under any low-hanging branches and have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

Summer safety might not be the most glamorous part of the season, but it’s certainly an essential one. After all, nothing kills a party quite like a fire truck -make your summer a memorable – and safe – one.