How to Bypass Barbecue Hazards

Avoid a summer shindig that’s memorable for the wrong reasons with these outdoor party safety tips, risks and remedies.
fir pit safety

It’s your turn to host a backyard  barbecue. You shop for groceries. You spend hours cleaning. You drag every chair in the house onto the patio. But how much time did you spend making sure your home is safe? Avoid a summer shindig that’s memorable for the wrong reasons with these outdoor party safety tips, risks and remedies.


Risks: Grill fires on residential properties cause an average of $37 million in damage per year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

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Remedies: Keep the grill a safe distance away from flammable items and high-traffic areas like the back door, says Anthony Villella, an insurance sales manager for AAA Northeast.

Keep kids away from a hot grill and do not let it run unattended.


Risks: More than 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools annually, according to the American Red Cross.

Remedies: Have an adult supervise swimming children at all times. Put pool toys away so that unattended children are less inclined to wander toward the pool area.


Risks: There were more than 100,000 trampoline-related emergency room visits in 2014, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Remedies: Trampolines should be on level ground away from trees, fences and other potential hazards. Some homeowners policies exclude trampolines, so talk to your insurance agent before setting one up on your property, Villella said.


Risks: Fireworks injure thousands and start an estimated 18,500 fires in the U.S. each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Remedies: Fireworks can hurt someone or damage your home. They are illegal in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Delaware, and major cities such as New York. “Plus, if you allow someone to light off fireworks on your property, you could be liable if there are injuries or other issues,” Villella said.


Risks: Impaired driving accounts for 47 percent of all Fourth of July traffic deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Remedies: Have guests who plan to drink alcohol sleep over or make arrangements for a sober ride home.

With plans in place, plus good food and great friends, there should be nothing keeping you from enjoying your next backyard bash.


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