Summertime in Canada is synonymous with outdoor gatherings and delicious BBQs in the backyard. While the mouth-watering aromas and joyful atmosphere are certainly enticing, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to protect both your loved ones and your property. In this blog, we will delve into essential tips for ensuring a sizzling and safe backyard BBQ experience. By implementing these measures, you can not only enjoy the company of friends and family but also safeguard against potential risks and mitigate any insurance-related concerns.
- Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy: Before hosting a backyard BBQ or lighting up the grill, take a moment to review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Familiarize yourself with the coverage provided, particularly for fire-related incidents, personal liability, and property damage. Understanding the terms and limitations of your policy will help you make informed decisions and ensure you have adequate protection.
- Create a Safe BBQ Zone: Designate a safe and well-ventilated area for your BBQ activities. Keep the grill a safe distance away from any structures, including your home, deck, or trees. Ensure there are no overhanging branches that could catch fire. Clear the area of any flammable objects, such as dry leaves, paper, or propane tanks, which could pose a fire hazard.
- Use and Store Charcoal and Propane Safely: If you’re using a charcoal grill, store the charcoal in a dry place away from flammable materials. Only use approved lighter fluids and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For propane grills, check the connections for leaks and ensure the gas tank is stored and handled correctly. Always turn off the gas supply after use and keep spare tanks away from the grill.
- Practice Grill Safety: Never leave a lit grill unattended, and keep children and pets at a safe distance. Use long-handled tools to avoid burns, and protect yourself with oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves. Regularly clean your grill to prevent grease buildup, which can lead to flare-ups. Additionally, consider having a fire extinguisher nearby and educate yourself and your guests on its proper usage. At CTM, we have a fire extinguisher program, so please speak to your CTM agent to ensure you have fire extinguishers at your home.
- Monitor Open Flames and Fire Pits: Backyard fires and fire pits can add warmth and ambiance to your summertime get-togethers. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution. Keep a watchful eye on open flames, ensuring they are contained within a safe fire pit or designated area. Clear the surroundings of any flammable materials and establish a safe distance from structures, furniture, and vegetation. Always fully extinguish the fire before leaving the area. Always ensure there isn’t an active fire ban in your region and that you comply with local by-laws. Your local fire station is an excellent resource for more information on backyard fire pits.
- Be Mindful of Guest Safety: When hosting a BBQ, ensure your guests know potential safety hazards. Brief them on the designated BBQ area, highlighting any rules or precautions. Use signage or markers to indicate potential hazards, such as steps, uneven surfaces, or hot surfaces. Taking proactive measures to protect your guests can help prevent accidents and mitigate potential liability issues.
- Consider Umbrella Liability Insurance: Umbrella liability insurance provides an additional layer of protection that goes beyond the coverage limits of your homeowner’s policy. It can safeguard your assets in the event of a significant accident or lawsuit resulting from a BBQ-related incident. Consult with your insurance provider to determine if an umbrella policy is appropriate for your needs.
As you gear up for a summer filled with backyard BBQs and outdoor fun, prioritize safety to minimize risks and ensure a worry-free experience. By implementing the tips in this blog, you can protect your loved ones, property, and financial well-being. Remember, a safe and enjoyable BBQ is the perfect recipe for cherished memories and peace of mind.
If you have any questions, please speak to your local CTM agent, and they can review your policy, assess your property for potential safety hazards, and review your eligibility for an umbrella policy.
From all of us at CTM, we hope you have a fun-filled summer with your loved ones!