Let’s Talk Safety: June Is National Safety Month

Many of us enjoy a more relaxed pace during June—kids are out of school, we start to think about vacations, and so on. But June is also a good time to focus on safety. It’s been designated National Safety Month since 1996 by the National Safety Council (NSC), America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. National Safety Month is intended to bring attention to safety topics in the workplace and beyond, hopefully preventing injuries or death due to common health or safety risks. Each year during National Safety Month, the NSC chooses four topics to focus on, one for each full week of the month. In 2023 the topics are:

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Heat-related Illness
  • Hazard Recognition

Here are some things to consider this month, and all year round, so you can live safer whether you’re at home, at work, or enjoying summer fun.

Prepared for emergency

We talk a lot about hurricane preparedness, but what other emergencies should you be ready for? Consider the risks you, your family, and/or your business face. How can you mitigate or prepare for those risks? One way, of course, is to carry the appropriate insurance coverage to suit your needs. What assets do you need to protect from damage or loss? Do you need an umbrella policy to protect your financial assets from a lawsuit? L & M Insurance Group agents will be happy to help you evaluate your situation and find the right insurance coverage for you.

Slips, trips, falls

In addition to falls from ladders, some of the most common causes of slips, trips, and falls include rain, spills, and unsecured mats or rugs. At home and at work, also watch for poor lighting, or items which could cause tripping, such as a cord or an empty box. Keep walkways clear, and clean up any slippery spills that occur. Take care when using a ladder, since falls from ladders are one of the main causes of occupational injuries or death.

Heat-related illness

Florida’s summer heat makes it imperative that we find ways to prevent heat stress and illness. Be mindful of the temperature and humidity, and schedule outdoor exercise during the cooler parts of the day. During the hottest days, stay in an air-conditioned space as much as possible. Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness—click here for an infographic from the CDC.

Dress in lightweight, loose clothing, and stay hydrated. Keep an eye on anyone at higher risk for heat-related illness, such as children, the elderly, or those with underlying health conditions.

And remember, never leave children or pets in your vehicle. Even with a window cracked, a car can heat up to a life-threatening temperature very quickly.

Recognizing hazards

Though this topic is often assumed to be for businesses, becoming aware of hazards which could hurt us or our loved ones is an essential skill. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep homes and business premises in good repair. Store things like cleaning supplies, medications, or chemicals safely and out of reach of children. If we can prevent an accident, injury, or even a death through some foresight, it is certainly worth it.

When all else fails…

Sometimes, even with all your precautions, accidents happen. Knowing you have the right insurance in place can help you sleep better at night. If you need an insurance quote for auto, home, renters, or commercial insurance, please call L & M Insurance Group at 813-672-4100. (If you prefer to contact us online, click here.) The agents at L & M Insurance Group will be able to help you find the coverage you need for your individual situation.

Stay safe out there!


Safe Grilling Tips for National Grilling Month

Ah, the smell of backyard barbecue—one of the best aromas of summer! July is National Grilling Month, and the height of “grilling season” across the US. And while most people go their whole lifetimes without an incident, July is also peak month for grill fires, resulting in thousands of injuries and millions of dollars of property damage each year. While fire is a covered peril under your homeowner’s insurance, no one wants to deal with the trauma and hassle of coping with a house fire.

So before you fire up that grill, protect your property and loved ones with these key grilling safety tips.

Grilling safety tips

Always operate your propane or charcoal grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area. In addition to posing a fire risk, grills produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes—so never use your grill inside your house or garage.

Position your grill well away from your home, garage, deck railings, overhanging branches, or shrubs. Make sure it’s on a flat and level surface so that it won’t tip over or roll. Don’t move the grill once it’s lit.

Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill, and never leave it unattended. Make sure matches and lighters are not where children can reach them.

Keep your distance from the heat and flames by using long-handled tools when grilling.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of a grill fire. Grill fires are basically the same as grease fires, so using water won’t work and can be dangerous. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you can try smothering the flames by closing the lid and grill vents to cut off oxygen to the fire. If you can do so safely, you may also pour baking soda on the flames.

If there’s any danger of the fire spreading to your home (or a neighbor’s), call the fire department immediately. House fires can spread rapidly.

If you have a gas/propane grill:

Before you grill for the first time this season, or if you haven’t already done so, check that tank hoses are in good condition with no leaks or blockages. Apply a 50/50 soap and water solution, and if you see bubbles, there’s a leak. Turn off the propane, and have the tank serviced professionally. You can use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear any blockages.

Make sure the lid is open when lighting the grill. If the lid is closed, gas can build up and cause a fireball.

Don’t lean over the grill as you light it.

If a burner won’t light or goes out after lighting, turn off the grill and wait at least five minutes before trying again.

Remember to turn off the gas when you’re done grilling!

Note: if you can still smell gas after you turn off the grill, call the fire department.

If you have a charcoal grill:

If you use starter fluid to light your coals, only use fluid specifically made for grilling. Once you’ve lighted the charcoal, do not add more lighter fluid. You might also want to try an alternate method for lighting charcoal, such as a charcoal chimney starter that uses newspaper as fuel.

Once you’re done cooking, close the air vents to let the coals begin to cool. Let coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

After you grill

Keep your grill clean. Not only will you avoid potential fire hazards, the food you cook will taste better! Scrape down grill grates and clean drip trays. Keep your grill covered to protect it from dirt, insects, and moisture.

Always store propane tanks outside and away from your house.

Maintain your grill, use it safely, and know what to do in an emergency, and you’ll be able to enjoy some good times and good food while grilling this summer. Let us know what time to come over—we’ll bring the potato salad!

Protect your home from fire as well as other perils by buying the right homeowners insurance for your situation. The agents at L & M Insurance Group will help you navigate the confusing Florida homeowners insurance market. Please call us at 813-672-4100 or email us for a free homeowners insurance quote. L & M Insurance Group is a full-service, independent insurance agency.