Grilling is a popular way to enjoy the nice summer weather, but grill fires can start easily and spread quickly when the gas or charcoal grill is placed too close to any fire hazards. With Summer just around the corner, help keep your home and family safe by following our grill safety tips.
Grilling fire facts:
July is the peak month for grill fires (18%), including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by June (15%), May (13%) and August (12%).
In 2014-2018, an average of 19,700 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.** Nearly half (9,500 or 48%) of the injuries were thermal burns, including both burns from fire and from contact with hot objects; 5,200 thermal burns, per year,were caused by such contact or other non-fire events.
Children under five accounted for an average of 2,000 or 39%, of the contact-type burns per year. These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, grill part or hot coals.
Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills. Ten percent of gas grill structure fires and 22% of outside gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks.
Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 600 outside fires annually.
What causes fires?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, in recent years, fire season has expanded from being a four-month ordeal to being six to eight months. Even winter wildfire outbreaks occur.
Fire season has become more destructive and erratic due to:
Winter snows melting earlier
Rain arriving later in the fall
The spreading of invasive, easily flammable species like cheatgrass
The number of homes for sale within wildfire zones in incredible. In California alone, Zillow reports that nearly 500,000 homes are located in wildfire-prone areas of the state. These houses have a combined value of greater than $200 billion.
These at-risk areas don’t do much to slow down real estate ventures into these neighborhoods. In fact, a study out of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas found that although real estate prices tend to go down in the immediate aftermath of a wildfire, home values return to their pre-fire numbers in as little as one to two years. From 2000 to 2010, homes in heavily forested areas increased from 12.5 million units to 44 million.
Though home values can return quickly, fires can still cause devastating damage. In 2018 alone, 8.7 million acres were burned in wildfires, leaving behind more than $24 billion worth of damage.
When you’re a homeowner in a wildfire-prone area, the potential risks and costs are staggering. From higher insurance premiums to the risk of losing belongings, pets and the home you love, the costs can be immeasurable. To ensure you are protected if a wildfire breaks out in your neighborhood, it’s important to know if wildfire insurance is a good idea for you.
Is your home at risk?
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