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  • Writer's pictureNick Coley

Cookout Safety

Summer is in full swing, and Independence Day is finally upon us. A great day to spend time with friends and family, and cook out on the grill. But every 4th of July back yard barbecue comes with a hidden set of hazards--fireworks and grills are responsible for injuries and fires every year. Here are a few tips and pointers to help keep your backyard cookout safe for everyone.

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are a traditional and beautiful part of any 4th of July celebration. Unfortunately, every year fireworks are responsible for tens of thousands of injuries, and thousands of fires. To ensure that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July, here are some guidelines for how to handle fireworks in a responsible way:

  • First and foremost, always follow all local laws and regulations regarding fireworks.

  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors. The ideal location is a large clearing away from houses and other buildings. Be sure to aim all fireworks away from people. Also be aware of overhead obstructions such as trees and powerlines.

  • Fireworks should only be handled by a responsible adult. Never handle fireworks under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

  • If a firework fails to properly ignite, do not attempt to re-light it.

  • Have a bucket of water close by. Place all used fireworks, fireworks that failed to ignite, and all unused fireworks in the water to soak before disposing of them properly.

  • Have an additional bucket of water or a water hose near by in the event of a fire.

  • If all else, set up a lawn chair or picnic blanket, and enjoy a local professional fireworks display.

Barbeque Safety

Grilling is a staple of most cookouts, yet still every year there are thousands of injuries and fires caused by grills. Whether you have a charcoal or propane gas grill, there are steps you can take to make sure that your cookout doesn’t end in disaster.

  • Grills should only be placed outdoors in a clear area away from the home. Also be aware of overhead obstructions such as roof lines, canopies, umbrellas, and tree branches. Be sure that your grill is on a flat, stable surface to reduce risk of it falling over.

  • Excess grease can suddenly ignite. Clean all buildup from the grill and all drip trays prior to use to reduce the risk of a fire.

  • As with any open flame, never leave your grill unattended.

  • Check your propane tank and hoses for leaks. Apply a soap and water solution to the tank and all hoses. In areas where there is a leak, a concentration of bubbles will form. The other telltale sign of a leak is the smell of propane.

And please, if you do plan on consuming alcoholic beverages at an Independence Day party, plan ahead and have a designated driver. Never drink and drive.

From all of us here at Maple Insurance Group, have a happy 4th of July!


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