Grilling during the summer is a fun and exciting activity, but we should not forget about fire safety. Agent Becky Goldsmith of Becky Goldsmith Insurance & Financial Services Inc. is teaming up with the Georgia Arson Control Board to urge the citizens of Muscogee County to take proper precautions when enjoying outdoor activities such as grilling.
According to Goldsmith, “While grilling can be an enjoyable outdoor activity for families and friends, it is important to make safety a priority.” Goldsmithalso offers the following tips for grilling:
- Keep flammable materials such as leaves and other debris away from the grill. Also, keep the grill a safe distance from your house or car. Don’t leave a grill unattended. Keep children and pets away from cooking areas.
- Use only lighter fluid specifically made for starting charcoal fires. Don’t use gasoline; it can explode. Don’t add starter fluid of any kind after charcoals are lit.
- Always light a gas grill with the lid open. After cooking, shut off the tank first, then the burners.
- Use outdoor grills where they belong — outdoors. Charcoal fires give off carbon monoxide, which can reach toxic levels in an enclosed space.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near. Use baking soda to handle small grease fires. If it’s safe to get near the grill, close it to suffocate the flames.
- Georgia law states that, “No charcoal or liquefied petroleum gas or liquid-fueled burners shall be kindled or maintained on balconies or within 10 feet of combustible patios on ground floors.” That means no cooking is allowed on apartment balconies. Check with your complex to see if they have a common grilling area for residents that is safely away from the residential area.
- Always follow the instructions for your grill and check your local fire codes.
The Georgia Arson Control Program, Inc. (GAC) was formed in January of 1979 by property and casualty insurers writing business in Georgia. GAC, with the cooperation of the Commissioner, Georgia Department of Insurance and Safety Fire, and state/local law enforcement agencies, established an ARSON HOTLINE 1-800-282-5804. A reward fund of up to $10,000 was initiated from which monetary rewards are given to individuals who come forward with information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for arson and/or fraud.”