Despite the pervasive “where did the summer go” question I hear at this time of the year, there’s still plenty of grilling yet to be done. If you’re lucky enough to live in more temperate areas — or if a little snow and sub-zero temperatures don’t scare you — you might be one of those grill owners who count the number of potential grilling days in the year at 365.

Whatever your grilling habits, here’s a piece of advice: Keep the grill away from the house. In a recent conversation with a local contractor I discovered that replacing melted vinyl siding was one of his most frequent jobs. Folks push their grill right up against the side of the house, where the 300+ temperatures do a warp-job on the heat-sensitive panels.

The Home Safety Council recommends placing the grill 10 feet away from other objects, including the house and bushes. While it might be tough for some homeowners to abide strictly by that rule, do yourself a favor and at least don’t push it flush with the side of the home. You’ll help keep your vinyl siding from looking like it belongs in a Van Gogh painting. So tell us: What’s your worst grilling error?

Home Safety Council