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Avoid playing with fire with grilling safety tips from Amica Insurance

07/03/2012

LINCOLN, RI – Summer days are often spent at fun cookouts with family and friends, but it is important to be serious when manning the grill. The National Fire Protection Association reports that July is the peak month for grill fires. Amica Insurance shares some suggestions for a safe, enjoyable grilling season.

“The threat of grilling fires is becoming more prevalent,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for the National Fire Protection Association. “Although grilling fires are more common in warmer months, it is important to remember that they do occur throughout the entire year. Simple steps can be taken to avoid them.”

Here are some other tips for grilling safely:

  • Keep all grills at least 10 feet away from your home, garage, porch and deck – and anything else that can catch fire.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill.
  • Remove grease or fat buildup to keep your grill clean.
  • Use long-handled barbecue utensils to avoid burns and splatters. Be sure the bristles on grill brushes are the proper material for your grill.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.

While these suggestions can apply to all grills, there are additional safety tips for specific types of grills, said Michael Gillerlane, a senior vice president with Amica Insurance. Before using a gas grill, clean the hose and connections with soapy water to reveal any leaks, and replace any broken parts. When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid to light the fire, and when finished grilling, make sure the coals are cool before disposing them in a metal container.

As an extra precaution, always keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of sand or garden hose nearby while grilling. The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association also advises keeping baking soda handy to put out a grease fire.

Following a few safety measures while grilling can prevent fires and injuries, keeping the summer barbecues safe and fun for all. For more information about grilling safety, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling or www.hpba.org.

About Amica

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT:Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,

Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563

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