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Grilling safety tips to follow as Memorial Day nears

Posted On Mon, May 13, 2013

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and with it comes grilling season - a time of year that food lovers enjoy, as they can enjoy the charred versions of their favorite foods. But if the proper safety precautions aren't taken into consideration, what was meant to be an enjoyable evening of fun and food can result in a fire.

The following tips should help ensure that any grilling event goes off without a hitch for families and, in the process, help keep their home insurance rates down by not having to make a claim.

What is perhaps the most important factor to remember before starting a grill is to ensure that it's as far removed from a standing structure as possible. There may be occasions during the summer when it's raining and therefore more convenient to set up a grill near to a home so that it's under the eaves, thus removed from the rain. This is a bad idea, though, as a small spark can cause a structure to catch fire at a moment's notice.

As a general rule, the National Fire Protection Association suggests setting up a grill several yards away from a home deck or anything that can catch fire. Pets and young children should be sure to stay away from grills as well.

For many homeowners, Memorial Day may be the first time they've started their grill. If that's the case, ensure that the grill is clean. Fire accelerants like grease and fat can build up in the trays within the grill. If possible, remove them and scrape away what can be taken off.

Of course, these are just a few helpful tips. Homeowners can download a substantial list of safety tips from NFPA's website to ensure they're as ready as ever for grilling season.

According to NFPA statistics, fire departments respond to an average of 8,600 home fires involving grills each year. Thus, taking all precautions is the right way to go for homeowners to keep their homes safe.

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