Allstate's Brad Palmer highly recommends giving your deck a swift examination before your family sets up camp outdoors:

1. CHECK YOUR BOARDS. Ask yourself if the boards of your deck are warped, splintering or mildewed? If so, give your deck a brush-down, sand problem spots, clean stains and clean between the cracks. 2. CHECK YOUR STRUCTURE. Take a step back and examine the whole structure from a distance to see if the deck is sagging, tilting or leaning. Determine how your deck attaches to the house make sure it’s still intact. Primarily when decks collapse its due to how it’s adjoined to the house. If it’s poorly connected you should call a contractor to avoid any accidents. 3. CHECK YOUR FOUNDATION. It’s important to see if it’s sinking into the ground anywhere. Even if it seems like a small problem, eventually it could affect your whole structure and cost you a lot of money and time down the road. Hire a contractor to fix any problems before entertaining. WHAT ARE SOME SAFETY “DOs AND DON’Ts” FOR GRILLING?

Each year grill related accidents lead to 17,700 injuries and $70 million lost in personal property, with the highest incidences of these accidents occurring in July. Here are some common grilling pitfalls to avoid: GRILLING DON'Ts: 1) Never grill indoors. Plain and simple – it’s the easiest way to start a fire. 2) Never leave your grill unattended. 3) Never smoke near a gas grill. 4) If you use starter fluid only use charcoal fluid and never add the fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. GRILLING DOs: 1) Keep your grill in an open, ventilated area, a safe distance from flammable objects. 2) Store your grilling accessories out of sight and reach of children. 3) Use long matches to light fires. 4) Let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. 5) Check the tank for any leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and check for bubbles. Bubbles indicate a leak – so if you see any get the grill repaired immediately. 6) If you smell gas while cooking – immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. For more home maintenance and protection tips visit

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