Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer. And as most of us know, grilling isn't just about the food. Outdoor cookouts and backyard barbecues are often the best memories of summers spent with friends and family. With the 4th of July just around the corner, grilling season is just getting started.

Keep in mind that when you grill you're literally playing with fire. People learn this hard way, suffering damage to their homes and and even themselves in grilling accidents. There's good news though: You can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. These tips below can help ensure that you cook only your burgers, and not your house, the next time you fire up the grill.


  • Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.)
  • NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes could kill you.
  • Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.

From Kingsford.com

  • Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
  • Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees.
  • To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually  in a can of sand or bucket of water.

From the National Fire Protection Association

  • Check your grill's hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak, and it will not stop after the grill and gas is turned off, call the fire department. If the leak stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home.
  • Store propane tanks in an upright position and never indoors. 

From all of us McDonald McGarry, happy grilling, stay safe and have a great weekend!
(Want more information about your Homeowners Insurance: check out our information on Insuring Your Home)