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                                                                                                       Barbecue Season Is In Full Swing: Don’t Go Up In Flames

The joys of outdoor cooking also bring fire and associated risks. Here are some safety reminders for gas and propane barbecues to protect you and your property from harm or damage.
•    Never operate a barbecue in an enclosed space, close to a structure, or near combustibles. Have a one metre radius around it free of obstructions. 
•    Keep your barbecue in tip top shape. Check for hose breakage, valve leaks, and other parts before securing the tank well and turning on the gas. 
•    When in use, never leave the grill unattended, and when finished turn the tank off before the burners so the remaining gas in the lines can burn off. This can help prevent a flash the next time the BBQ is in use.
•    Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible and in good working order. 
Additional Tips
•    Propane companies use an additive to create an unpleasant odour like rotten eggs to make a propane leak easier to detect, so you can shut off supply immediately, stop using the grill, and clear the area.
•    Although the risk of carbon monoxide is low when using a BBQ outdoors, it is not entirely eliminated. Learn to recognize the signs of CO2 poisoning and take appropriate action.
•    Store propane tanks in an upright position, in a spot where they are unlikely to be knocked or bumped to prevent any safety risk.

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Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. In 2013, the Canadian insurance industry paid out $3.2 billion in claims due to severe weather. The torrential rain experienced in Toronto last summer was the most expensive natural disaster in Ontario history with preliminary estimates coming in at $850 million.

Speak with your insurance provider to help you understand your coverages, limits and deductibles. It is incorrect to assume “Acts of God” are not covered. The terminology is not present in policy wordings. Damage due to rain, wind, and hail are covered, but overland flooding is not. A “water” endorsement on the policy deals with sewer backup and sump pump issues. Have the conversation to review these areas and to review your values which usually increase over time, especially with the prevalence of “man caves” in basement areas of the home.