The mouthwatering smell of hamburgers, chicken and other grilled foods will soon start filling the air – but as Fourth of July  weekend arrives (the unofficial start of BBQ season) the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is warning grillers to be careful.

According to a 2013 NFPA report, an average of 8,600 home fires were started each year between 2007 and 2011 by gas or charcoal grills, 60 percent of those flared up on a balcony, porch or outside patio.

The NFPA advises everyone to make sure the grill is working properly and review safety tips before firing it up. It’s extremely important to check gas canisters and hoses for cracks, breaks or leaks.

Did you know ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm was severely burned in a gas grill accident? She has recorded several videos to share her story and raise awareness about grilling safety.

Here are some home grilling safety tips from the NFPA:

  • Read you grills safety tips and warning information before using it
  • Only use propane and charcoal outdoors
  • Check gas tanks and hoses for leaks
  • Stay alert when grilling
  • Keep grills well away from the house, deck railings, overhanging eaves and branches
  • Never leave the grill unattended
  • Be careful when disposing charcoal; always make sure coals they are completely out and put into a meal container with a lid

Accidents happen. Make sure your home or apartment is fully protected with the right amount of insurance. Call a California Casualty advisor today for a policy review, 1.800.800.9410 or visit

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