Grill on, but Grill safe

Every year, millions of Americans safely enjoy outdoor barbecues, but accidents do happen. In the rare instance of an out-of-control  barbecue fire spreading to your property, your homeowners insurance would provide financial protection as fire is covered.

A homeowner’s insurance policy covers the following:

– Personal possessions such as lawn furniture.

– Insured structures on your property, such as a shed or gazebo.

-Damage to your house.

-Injuries to a guest, under the liability portion of the policy.

Keep in mind you’ll have to pay your deductible before your insurance kicks in, so if damage is minimal and your deductible is high, it may not make sense to file an insurance claim.

Call ABM Insurance for any questions regarding your deductible prior to making a claim or for questions. Call 1-800-362-2809 or visit our home insurance page for general questions at

There is about 5,700 out-of-control barbeque fires which take place every year, this causes an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 deaths. The majority of these fires are caused by malfunctioning gas grills. In addition, thousands of people visit emergency rooms every year because they have burned themselves while barbecuing.

However, the best way to enjoy a summer of outdoor barbecues is to take steps to prevent accidents, including maintenance and how you use the grill.

Grill Maintenance and Storage

When setting up at the start of each grilling season, the following tips can help ensure everybody’s safety:

-Inspect grill hoses for cracks, holes and brittleness. Check for blockages as well, especially in the Venturi tube that runs to the burners. Clear blockages with a wire or pipe cleaner usually caused by food drippings, insects or spiders.

-Move hoses as needed away from hot areas or where grease might drip on them.

-Store your propane tanks outside, away from your house. Always check to make sure valves are firmly turned off.

-Run a soap solution (one part liquid soap, one part water) along hoses and at connections, then open the valve at your tank and check to make sure that gas isn’t escaping, which will be indicated by bubbles at the leaking points.

Gas grills are generally safe if they are properly maintained and checked for leaks. In some instances, grills are unsafe due to faulty design or construction.

Safe Barbecuing

When barbecuing, use common sense and follow these guidelines:

-Keep children and pets away from grill.

-Operate your barbecue on a level surface, away from your house, garage and landscaping. Don’t move the grill once it is lit. This is the cause of most fires as the grill is too hot under a patio, or next to a house.

-Never grill indoors or in enclosed areas. Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO) fumes, which can be fatal in unventilated areas.

-For charcoal grills, use only lighter fluid designed for grilling. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids, and never add more lighter fluid once the fire has started.

-For the one cooking, protect yourself with a heavy apron and oven mitts that reach high on the forearm.

-Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

-When you’re done with your cooking, remember that the grill will remain hot for a while. Don’t cover or store your grill until it has cooled, and soak coals with water before throwing them away.

In Case of an Accident

If a grill accident—or any kind of accident—does occur, injuries should be addressed immediately. Run cool water over minor burns, but do not cover injured areas with bandages, or home remedies like butter. In the case of more serious burns, victims should visit the emergency room or an urgent care facility. If needed or when in doubt, call 911.

Once you have dealt with any injuries, inspect your property for damages and, if the situation calls for it, contact your ABM insurance professional to discuss filing a claim. Contact one of our agents at
1-800-362-2809 for your best help.