This coming Saturday many Americans will join together with friends and family to barbeque and rejoice in the freedom that defines us as a country.
Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July, marks a historical time whereby our Nation declared its freedom from British rule and asserted its independence.
Maryland was one of the original thirteen colonies to help adopt this independence for the United States of America. Still to this day the Chestertown Tea Party is celebrated and re-enacted in memory of the sentiment that so many soon to be Americans held against British power.
More so, during the War of 1812, Maryland would become the birth place of the national anthem we sing so proudly at popular sporting events in honor of our country’s struggles and to show pride for our nation.
General Grilling Guidelines
4th of July weekends in Maryland inevitably include outdoor grilling and entertaining of friends and family. However, there are some important rules and regulations to keep in mind that should be passed on to your tenants.
Whether tenants rent your home or live in an apartment, when it comes to barbequing near your rental property, safety must come first.
Although each county will have their own specific rules and regulations regarding outdoor barbequing, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- If residing in Baltimore County, no hibachi, gas fired grill, charcoal grill, or any other device using an open flame to cook or heat food may be stored, used, or even kindled on any balcony. Nor can they be used within 15 feet of any multi-family buildings such as apartments. The same goes for any Anne Arundel County grilling.
- In Prince George’s County all grills must be at least 30 feet away from any multi-family apartment homes.
- Keep in mind that fire codes may apply to all counties and prohibit the use of electric, charcoal, or gas grills and heating devices on balconies or within 15 feet of multifamily homes.
- Though there are no specific laws in place regarding single-family homes, it is recommended that tenants keep a 10 foot distance from their home and are warned not to place their grill up against their house, wooden deck, or fence as this can cause a fire.
Top Safety Tips
Approximately 80% of all households have a grill and 97% of those people use their grill regularly. Outdoor grilling can result in delicious tasting food and bring people together to have a good time.
However, those festivities can quickly turn dangerous, harmful, and/or damaging if the proper precautions are not taken.
Damage to your rental property, injury to others, and a ruined weekend party can all result if your tenant is not careful.
Educating your tenants about these top safety tips, and recruiting your Maryland property management group to help do the same, this barbeque season may avoid some of the estimated $70 million in property damage and nearly 17,000 emergency room visits that are a result of BBQ accidents annually in the United States.
- Do a Grill Check
Before using your grill, check all appropriate hoses, knobs, tanks, and wires for problem areas. If you smell gas coming from your gas grill after starting it up, do not use it. Leaking gas is an explosion waiting to happen.
- Outdoor Use Only
Never use your grill indoors. This includes inside a house, camper, tent, garage, or any other enclosed area. BBQs are meant for outside use only in well ventilated areas that are away from anything that could catch on fire such as trees, wooden fences, or decks.
- Light it Up
If using lighter fluid for a charcoal grill, do so according to the instructions. Only use charcoal lighter fluid, do not add fluid to the flame once lit, and do not mix in other fluids.
- Keep Away
Keep all pets and children away from the grill at all times and never leave the grill unsupervised.
- Stabilize the Grill
Place the grill on stable ground to prevent it from tipping over and causing some shrubbery to catch fire. Do not attempt to move a hot grill.
Use long handled utensils while cooking to prevent splatter burns or clothing from catching. Wear appropriate grilling attire – do not wear long shirts or aprons with cloth hanging down that could easily catch a flame or get caught in a hot spot.
- Know First Aid
Consider downloading the American Red Cross First Aid App on your smartphone for advice regarding emergencies such as burns (Don’t have a smartphone? That’s okay, just check out their online first aid manual that is downloadable for free).
- Be Prepared
Be ready for anything – This includes have a fire extinguisher on hand nearby or baking soda in the case of a grease fire. If neither of these are available a simple bucket of sand or a garden hose will be sufficient in the case of an emergency.
- Don’t Forget Underneath
Consider a fire resistant splatter mat for underneath your grill to catch any grease or embers that may catch fire to any debris on the ground.
Once done grilling, stay away from the grill for up to an hour as it will take a long time to cool down.
4th of July weekend does not have to end in the emergency room. Your tenants can be safe, along with their friends and family, and your rental property as well.
Knowing beforehand the rules and regulations regarding outdoor grilling, as well as the proper safety procedures, can really save your rental property from damage and your tenants and their guests from serious injury.
Your Maryland property management group, such as Bay Property Management Group, can assist in informing your tenants of the outdoor grilling rules and regulations and what they will ultimately be responsible for should any damage or injuries occur.
In addition, our team of professionals is on hand 24/7 should an emergency situation arise at the rental, though in serious emergencies medical professionals should be contacted immediately.
Remembering the hardships and triumphs the United States of America endured to get to where we are now is a joyous occasion. Let us celebrate this 4th of July, and many other summer weekend barbeque moments safely and damage free.