“The oil to fry the turkey was too hot and too full. Once the turkey went in, the oil bubbled over, caught the paper tablecloth on fire, and lit the grass on fire. The grass fire then ignited a pile of fireworks, which were supposed to be on the porch. This in turn led to one huge fireball, screaming crying children who will probably never recover from the panic that was set throughout, which then led to the roof catching on fire.”
The damage tally: one home partially destroyed, several cars damaged by smoke, a missing dog, $2,500 worth of poorly timed fireworks, and three acres of burned grass.
Don’t Let This Happen to You!
Whether a graduation party, backyard barbeque, or 4th of July celebration, summer is party time in America. The story above may sound extreme, but unfortunately summer is a time when there is an increased risk, and more mishaps occur in three short months than do during the rest of the year.
Summertime Safety Tips
Below are a few safety tips to help you ensure that our summertime activities are free of accidents and injuries.
Grilling: Nothing spoils a cookout faster than a fire.
Good safety practices include:
- Before using a propane gas grill, check the connection between the tank and the fuel line. Make sure the Venturi tubes (where the air and gas mix) are not blocked, and check hoses for cracks or damage.
- Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. And never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas, as deadly carbon monoxide can be produced.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or a source of water (a garden hose or four-gallon pail of water) near an outdoor grill or barbecue. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way if you have a minor flare-up, you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it.
- While barbecuing, don’t wear loose clothing. Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or mitts that are flame resistant.
- Don’t squirt flammable liquids onto an open flame.
- Don’t leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills, which are objects of curiosity.
- If using a charcoal or wood fire, dispose of hot coals properly by soaking them with water, then stirring to ensure that fire is extinguished. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
Dining Outdoors: Food-borne illnesses favor the hot conditions found at outdoor events where food is not refrigerated or may be undercooked.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture offers food safety tips:
- Cook foods thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be heated and maintained at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Maintain cold by placing food dishes in bowls of ice or in a cooler.
- Live by the “two-hour rule”: Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. In hot weather, food should never sit out for more than 1 hour. Discard any food left out longer than recommended.
Fireworks: The 4th of July would not be complete without fireworks. Fireworks not only create significant dangers when used improperly or illegally, they also increase the demands on fire departments and other emergency responders.
Some tips to keep your celebration safe are:
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks.
- Sparklers injure children under five most often. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never place your body over fireworks when lighting fuses.
- Never re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose in case of fires or other mishap.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
Summer parties often include other activities. You will find a wealth of information on the internet regarding safety tips for everything from swimming and boating safety to biking, skating, and skateboarding safety tips to sun and heat safety tips.
Homeowners should be aware of the risks associated with these get-togethers. If you are hosting a party, check with your homeowners insurance agent to determine what protection you have should there be a mishap.
For information on homeowners insurance, contact Kemner Iott Benz online or call us at one of our convenient locations: