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Family outside grillingOn warm days, there's nothing quite like heating up the backyard grill to cook your favorite foods. Ribs, chicken, burgers and vegetables all taste especially flavorful on a beautiful sunny day, and it's a great time to gather family and friends and spend some time together. However, fire departments had to respond to nearly 9,000 fires caused by gas or charcoal barbecues between 2007 and 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association. So, remember there is inherent danger in using these cooking devices and always keep safety tips in mind while grilling up your favorites.

  1. Only use the grill outdoors. Don't fall into temptation to bring the grill indoors during poor weather conditions or a power outage.

  2. Keep the grill clean. Build-up of grease drippings may cause flare-ups that can quickly get out of control.

  3. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure it is rated for grease fires. Sand or baking soda will also snuff out a fire.

  4. Keep the grill out of a high traffic area. People and children may walk too close, not knowing that the grill is hot.

  5. Grills should also not be near any structures or deck railings. Look up and make sure there are no eaves or overhanging branches directly overhead.

  6. Do not operate the grill with loose clothing. Hanging sleeves and apron strings are especially dangerous.

  7. For a gas grill, check lines periodically with soapy water for any leaks. If the fire goes out, open the lid and let any leaked gas dissipate for five minutes before re-lighting.

  8. Use lighter fluid sparingly and cautiously. Charcoal chimney starters are a safer way to heat up charcoal.

  9. Remember grills hold heat for a long time. Gas grills can stay hot an hour after you turn them off, and charcoal for several hours. Dispose of charcoal in a metal container after it cools.

  10. Never leave a grill unattended.

Grilling season is often accompanied by backyard fun and relaxation, but don't get distracted from your task while cooking outdoors. Keep these tips in mind to keep your home and family safe.

Enjoy summer with safety in mind. Call Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency at (415) 883-2525 for more information on Los Angeles home insurance.

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