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                Summer calls for family gatherings, pool parties and of course, barbeques.  Armstrong Fairway would like to bring some BBQ safety tips to you, some of which...eh-hum...MAY be from experience.

              THE FOOD: Food handling, temperatures, and the actual cooking are all important.  You always want to make sure you never cross contaminate your food.  In other words, raw food stays with raw, and cooked stays with cooked.  Once you’re through with handling raw meat, immediately wash the plate or get it to the sink.  Never reuse the same plate, unless of course it has been washed with hot, soapy water.  Food temperatures are just as important as handling.  Just because it’s black on the inside, it doesn’t mean it’s cooked (maybe your grill is just a tad too hot!)  Meats should be cooked to particular temps in order to avoid food borne illnesses.  Check out this temperature chart from the Food Network.  You can purchase meat thermometers relatively inexpensive online, check out this one we found.  When it comes to cooking, you have to understand your food.   For example, will there be fat dripping?   This MAY have been learned from experience by one of our agents, maybe not…but if you’re ever going to cook bacon wrapped hotdogs, you should PROBABLY keep the lid open.  If not, your grill could HYPOTHETICALLY, catch on fire.  (For the record, chicken can do this too, probably, it’s not like we would actually know from experience.)

                THE FLAME: This one can be scary, if the flame on your gas grill ever goes out, DO NOT try to light it right back up.  This can cause a fire ball which can cause extreme burns.  Make sure to shut off the gas supply, open the lid and allow it to air out.  Always keep a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach, hopefully you don’t need it, but it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

                THE LOCATION: You need space, lots of it!  Take a second to think about where your grill is located.  Now think of the worst grill fire imaginable.  Will your home be safe, how about trees, guests, and toys?  If you think you may be too close to something, you probably are.

        THE TOOLS: Spring for proper BBQ utensils.  While regular kitchen spatulas and tongs with do the job, they are much shorter than actual grilling utensil, which can cause burns to your hands.  Also, BBQ utensils typically have wood coverings, which insulate from heat, reducing the risk of burns.

        According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five households own a gas grill, which means there are a lot of tasty meals being made.  It also means there’s an increased risk of fire. Each year an average of 8,900 grills cause home fires, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns.  July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August.  Don’t be a statistic, be safe.  Should the situation arisein which a fire causes damage, we’ll be with you every step of the way through your claim. 

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