Memorial Day is fast approaching and we know what that means……Sweet, summer time is here! Grills are going, pool parties are splashing, fireworks are bursting and watermelon eating contests are leaving sticky drops all over the deck. It’s an awesome time of year. However, did you know that May through August is the highest injury time of the year? Burns, drownings, and alcohol-influenced accidents are very high during the summer. As a home owner, you have extra liability exposure to consider during the summer cookout season. Be sure that you and your family have a SAFE and FUN summer by following these tips.

1-) Be a safe swimmer, never swim alone.  If you have a pool, be sure that it is fenced in with a self-locking gate. Make it a rule that children are not allowed to swim alone during pool parties and that an adult must be present to supervise. Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of accidental drowning. If you are having a large pool party of cookout, it may be a good idea to hire a lifeguard for the afternoon to ensure safe swimming.  Many children drown when other people are nearby. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes. Planning ahead for your party can greatly reduce your liability exposure.

2-) If fireworks are part of the festivities, be sure to practice the following tips:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

3-) As always, remember to drink responsibly! Never drink and drive. If you need a ride, try a service like Uber or have a designated driver selected before the party. If you are hosting a party at your home, consider having a designated driver before the party starts. Drunk driving escalates during the summer months. Did you know that allowing people to leave your party and drive when you know they are unable to drive optimally can not only endanger your friends….it can also be a liability exposure for you? Play is safe and have a game plan before the cookouts start.

4-) Practice safe grilling! Grilling is one of the best parts of summertime. However, did you know that you can be fined if you are not following the grilling rules of your city? It’s true! Penalties can range from fines to arrest depending on your area of the country. Be sure to check the rules for your city to avoid fines before starting your cookout.

5-) Have excess liability protection: Did you know that if your grill causes a fire or damage (melted vinyl, etc.) to someone else’s property…YOU can be held responsible for the damages? This would come under the property damage liability portion of your home policy. Also, with risks such as a swimming pool, it is vital to have a higher liability protection policy. Your excess liability, or “Umbrella policy”, protects you from legal liability suits when the underlying liability limits on your home policy have been exhausted. Typically, Umbrella policies protect up to an additional $1 million worth of protection, however, higher coverage amounts are available as well.

Check out this quick and fun video for grilling safety tips for this summer:


To get the tailored policy coverage that you need for your home, valuables, auto, LIFE, or business, call The CHOICE Insurance Team today at 757-416-5100 and ask for a free, comprehensive review.  Give us a call today!


All the Best,



In 2008 Choice Insurance Agency was created out of the former Realty Consultants Insurance Agency founded in 1980 by George Ayers Capt. USN Ret. Since 2008 the Choice Insurance Agency has more than tripled in size and is continue on a track of rapid growth. The Choice Insurance Agency focuses on four areas of expertise: Private Client Group, Coastal Coverage, Senior Programs and Commercial/Business Insurance. Our business model has allowed us to expand into all of the states on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Florida including Pennsylvania and DC to better serve our ever-growing client base. As an Insurance brokerage stationed in Hampton Roads with access to well over 40+ insurance carriers, the Choice Insurance Agency is able to shop for the best rates, cover those picky coastal zones and create a tailored plan to fit your insurance needs. The Choice Insurance Agency. Call us today and see why we are the top “CHOICE” in Hampton Roads.

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