Partly cloudy with 0% chance of rain, it’s grillin’ time! Grilling can be a super fun way to enjoy beautiful weather, but it’s also the culprit behind 9,000 home fires and 16,000 injuries every year.

Although grilling fires occur throughout the year, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) states that  July is the peak month for grill fires. The leading causes of grill fires are often times preventable.

We’ve got 5 easy tips to help you grill safely:

1.Keep Outside Grills Outside

Propane and gas grills should only be used outdoors, never indoors or inside of your garage. They should be used well away from siding, deck rails and other combustible materials.

2.Designate a “SafeZone” for Children and Pets

Teach children and pets to keep a three-foot distance from the grill when it is being used, this is a “safe-zone” which they shouldn’t enter while the grill is hot.

3.Keep Your Grill Clean and Pristine

Grease is extremely flammable; as buildup increases the risk of a fire increases. You’ll want to brush your grill grates after every use and thoroughly clean them every couple of months

Bi-Annual Cleaning

  1. Find a 5 gallon bucket.
  2. Make Your Cleaning Solution - We recommend using warm water and dish soap with a touch of vinegar and baking soda to use as a cleaning solution for your grill. This combination is gentler and less toxic than some chemicals that can impart an off taste onto your food. Fill your bucket with the cleaning solution.
  3. Burn it – Allow the grill to come to full temperature. Dip a wire brush in the cleaning solution and scrub as much carbon as you can from the grates. Turn it off, let it cool completely.
  4. Soak it – Once the grates have cooled completely, place them in the 5 gallon bucket full of your cleaning solution. Allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Scrub it – After the grates have soaked, remove them from the bucket and scrub them thoroughly. For really stubborn gunk, a paste of vinegar and baking soda should help the brush scrub off the worst bits. Thoroughly rinse and dry the grates and place them back on the grill.

4.Start Strong, Finish Strong

Be sure to open the cover on your gas grill before lighting, and to allow charcoal grill coals to completely cool before disposing.

5.Stick by Your Grill

Never leave the grill unattended while in use – not only is this a fire hazard, you don’t want to burn the chicken!


Don’t let one simple mistake ruin your cookout, keep these safety tips in mind instead. Contact your local Rockford Mutual agent to protect your home from fires, lightning, theft and more!

Amy Ingram
Social Media & Communications Coordinator
Amy joined Rockford Mutual in January of 2017 with an Associates Degree in Marketing. Amy has a great understanding of insurance in general as she is currently working towards an Associate in General Insurance designation.