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What could go wrong at the braai?

By: Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure

This month is likely to be among the most popular for braais around the country. The improving weather also makes a meal cooked the old-fashioned way (over the fire) even more appealing.

The picturesque scene of smiling faces amidst the smoky smells of lunch is a wonderful thought, but it could all go wrong in a second. Imagine, for example, a gust of wind blows in and before long, the lawn is on fire. Perhaps an enthusiastic game in the garden means a ball collides with a sliding glass door, shattering it. Someone takes a stumble and accidently knocks the Weber into the pool, or the gas braai explodes. Indoor braais can present all sorts of possibilities too, if safety isn’t prioritised. 

These examples are all hypothetical and dramatic, but it’s often the scenarios you can’t imagine happening, that could. Call it Murphy’s Law, or luck of the draw, but at least there are ways to manage it.  

Having family or friends over also encourages us to relax and not worry so much. To put your feet up is certainly well deserved given the year we’re having but being lax about safety is not worth the risk. Make it a braai to remember by adding some important checks to the list (beyond what is on your shopping list).

What you’ve got is ready to go

Checking your braai before using it is essential. A thorough clean is recommended, and you’ll want to be sure the replacement cost of the braai is considered, to be included in your insurance policy. Some expensive braais might need to be specified, otherwise the correct cost should be factored into your contents cover.

An up to date insurance policy in general, is important because a claim will also mean the rest of your contents and home are up for scrutiny. All your contents (from your bed to your braai) must be considered for the true replacement costs, which helps to avoid any issues at claims stage.

Your home’s structure should be covered under your building insurance. A fire gone awry could destroy your home, or a section of it. Repairs will only be properly covered if the property is properly insured too. 

Be safe and sensible

When you are braaiing, be careful not to let oven gloves or aprons, food packaging or alcohol near the fire, or risk an unhappy accident spoiling your appetite. Don’t let kids run around near the fire or breakables; avoiding accidents is always better. If you are heading outside and your garden is full of dead plants, clearing them away before you begin the braai makes way for better safety. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby too.

When the fire is nearly out, double check it really has died down before walking away. Hot coals can still cause a hot mess if not handled with care.

Personal Liability cover is also important to have in place, which could help in the event of any medical emergencies.

If your insurance policy needs an upgrade, it can usually be done quite quickly. Don’t delay getting your plans in order, so that any braai plans will play out for the best too. 

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