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Best Grilling Tips for the Summer


“Summer is for grilling”by a.w.miller is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

July is the perfect month to invite guests over for a backyard barbecue on the grill! Coincidentally, July also has the most grill-related fires. No matter what you are grilling – brats, burgers, vegetables, fruit, or pizza –remember to grill safely to prevent a fire that could quickly get out of hand! If you live in a rental unit, a multi-family building, or if the fire spreads to your nearby neighbors’ homes, you could be liable for significant damages. Fires involving grills result in $123 million in property damages and around 100 injuries each year. Follow these steps to make sure food is the only think you are cooking this summer.

Lighting Your Grill

First, although it seems simple, to ensure safety, light your grill using these tricks:

  1. If you have a gas grill, always make sure the lid is open before lighting the flame.
  2. When using charcoal, think about using a charcoal chimney which allows you to simply use newspaper as an easy fire starter.
  3. If you choose to use starter fluid, make sure it is charcoal-specific starter fluid.

Grilling on Your Deck/Patio

Where you grill can cause property damage. If you live in a single family home, a townhouse, or an apartment complex, follow these simple rules”

  1. If you live in a rental or townhouse, check that the rules allow you to have a grill on the deck or patio at all.
  2. Keep the grill away from the exterior of your home and away from any railings.
  3. Make sure the grill is out from underneath an overhanging roof or awning, and absolutely avoid placing the grill near low-hanging tree branches.
  4. Allow the charcoal or gas grill to cool completely before covering it up or putting it away after each use.
  5. Make sure the charcoal ashes are cool before disposing of the ashes in a trashcan.

Grilling with Family, Friends, and Pets

Next, many of the injuries that occur do not happen to the person in control of the grill. In many cases, party-goers or children pass by and burn themselves. Keep these safety tricks in mind to keep everyone safe.

  1. Children under 5 years old account for roughly 38% of grill-related contact burns each year. Always keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
  2. Again, if you are using starter fluid, make sure to keep the starter fluid out of reach of children and pets.
  3. Never, ever leave the grill unattended.

Servicing Your Grill

Lastly, a clean grill is a safer grill. With a lot of grease, fat, and other debris near the hot coals, you can create an out-of-control fire. Below are three tricks to reduce the possibility for uncontrollable accidents.

  1. Clean the grill grates after each use.
  2. Clean the grease and fat buildup on the trays and grates below to prevent out-of-control fires.
  3. If you have a gas grill, check the propone tank and lines for any leaks before turning the gas on. The National Fire Protection Association has a great instructional video on how you can easily check for leaks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bYLWnNIwsQ

To really enjoy the summer season, you should first ensure that you are keeping yourself, your family, your friends, and your pets safe from a preventable grill-related fire. If you or someone you know has been injured or suffered property losses by a grill-related fire, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer today for a free consultation. Let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Get Outside This Spring!

We had a terrible winter in Chicago with very cold temperatures and an unending string of snowstorms. As the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, we need to stay healthy and happy. Our day jobs add a lot of stress as we head into the courtrooms and depositions. The ABA recommends exercise, among other things, to reduce stress for attorneys. Luckily, we have lots of wonderful places to get outside and blow off some steam this spring.

Busse Woods

A jewel of the Northwest suburbs, Busse Woods provides 3,558-acres of land and water to bike, hike, fish, or picnic. Additionally, you can find an eight-mile paved loop trail, perfect for biking and rollerblading. On most days, many people will run the full loop. And if you want to stop, Busse Woods has an small elk herd near the corner of Arlington Heights Rd. and Higgins Rd. Our offices are only 1.5 miles away from the forest preserve and we highly recommend it!

Lake Arlington

With a lake centered in the park, a 2 mile walking path can provide the perfect spring or nighttime walk. The Arlington Heights Park District has made this a great springtime spot. Recently, they added exercise areas, gardens, and fountains for people who need to sweat or just relax. As with any trail, be careful as many people will speed around the path on their bike or rollerblades. And if you are very adventurous or like to boat, you can rent a paddle boat or kayak for a few hours.

Des Plaines River Trails

For a more rustic and less paved walk, visit the trails that stretch from Cook County through Lake County. Depending on where you live, a parking area and starting point should not be too far away. Although you may not walk the entire path, the serenity of the new leaves and wildflowers blooming bring down anyone’s stress levels. With dirt or gravel paths, however, make sure to wear good shoes as you may need to cross wet spots with those spring rains. If you want to see some wildlife in the suburbs, you can spot deer, rabbits, all kinds of birds, and even a coyote. Lastly, in Northbrook, you can also take the family to the Nature Center. After a nice walk, you can learn all about the prairie that surrounds us!

Welcome Hey Nonny to Arlington Heights!

Hey Nonny

As local music fans (especially blues!), we at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. are really excited about a new local music spot. A fantastic addition to our downtown, Hey Nonny plan to host live musicians 6 nights a week with many local artists playing mostly original music with some touring acts entertaining people in Arlington Heights. You’ll be able to find many of us there on any given night!

A gastropub and music venue, Hey Nonny, in downtown Arlington Heights at 10 S. Vail Ave, will be able to separate or combine a 150-person capacity music room and 66-seat gastropub.

According to their website, tickets will be needed for admissions with tickets available online at HeyNonny.com. They recommend that because its size and popularity that many shows will set out. So plan ahead if you want to see some great musical acts. However, if you do want to pop in and see if you can get a ticket, they say you can wait in the Gastropub and to see if they make a few extra General Admission tickets available.

Additionally, they will have a Nonny Club. Membership would include:

  • First notice of new shows
  • Exclusive presale for each concert
  • Special Nonny Club member events
  • A Hey Nonny t-shirt designed by Chicago musician, co-founder of Waco Brothers, and artist, Jon Langford

Ron and his wife Carol already joined!

Arlington Heights Library’s Piano Project

On September 13, 2018, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library officially began their piano project. Six artists have decorated pianos that have been placed throughout Arlington Heights. And several residents of the village donated their pianos for the art exhibition. The pianos were located through Friday, October 12 at Harmony Park, Arlington Heights Metra Station, Northwest Community Healthcare Wellness Center Lobby, Senior Center Patio, Arlington Heights Memorial Library Dunton Avenue Entrance and the library’s Underground Garage Entrance. Below are the names of the artists and where their pianos were located.

Preeti Iqbal – Village Landscape

Specializing in watercolor art since 2002, Preety Iqbal worked in information technology as she honed her skills as an artist. She volunteers at WINGS resale store in Niles and donates her art to many silent auctions. Iqbal was inspired by the library and the One Book, One Village program. She designed her piano with expanisve green meadows with mountains and a bright blue sky. Additionally, she used a field of flowers to bring out some more color. Her piano was featured at the Northwest Community Healthcare Wellness Center at 900 W. Central Road.

Violet Jaffe – Reaching Toward Joy

Violet Jaffe has painted for more than 30 years and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She told a personal story with her piano. Her grandfather had ALS and was cared for by her grandmother. A recent entry in the One Book, One Village collection, Every Note Played, brought many of her feelings about watching her family as they dealt with the disease. She used the image of a raven to illustrate death and bluebirds to sumbolize joy and life. Lastly, she included chained hands to describe her grandfather’s paralysis and fear. Her piano was featured at the Library’s first floor and will be on display starting October 15.

Anthony Lewis – Video Disruption #3

Anthony Lewis works as an artist, writer, and video technician. He draws from hsi work in video engineering through his painting and texture. His piano continues a line of work that he has presented across Chicago over the past years. He uses the iconic test pattern image from television to create conversation between generations. With nostalgia for some and lack of knowledge of test patterns, Lewis wanted to reshape the musical instrument. The piano was located at the Library’s Underground Parking entrance.

Teresa Meyanci – Once Upon a Tune

Teresa Meyanci has many artistic talents from sketching to painting to actually playing the piano she painted for this exhibit. In her design, she wanted to showcase how music can transport you anywhere your imagination can go. She uses kraken and pirate ship images, characters from fairy tales, and a magical forest with a dragon on a castle tower to create that story. The piano was located at Harmony Park on the corner of Vail and Campbell Streets.

Tara Riley – Grow Wild

A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1988, Tara Riley has created her own work and taught many others to explore their creativity. With many art exhibitions throughout her career, she worked as a substitute art teacher in school districts 211 and 214. For her piano, she took inspiration from Gustov Kimt’s The Kiss. She used mosaic tile work, metallic work, and jewels to combine Art Nouveau with inspiration for her own garden. The piano was located at the Senior Center courtyard at 1801 W. Central Road.

Tom Rybarczyk – Rainbow Zebra

For 31 years, Tom Rybarcyzk worked as a graphic artist. Over the past few years, he has worked as a watercolor artist and is the committee chairperson for the Arlington Heights Art Guild. He wanted to create a powerful and fun piano that included a colorful zebra print and musical notes. He used pattern and design to help people experience the sound of music without having to touch a single black or white key. His piano was inside the Arlington Heights Metra Station at 45 W. Northwest Highway.

If you are interested in seeing some of these wonderful pieces of art, check out the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, where they will be on display for a limited time. The Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. continue to work to bring as much art and culture to the northwest suburbs through create work with the Northwest Cultural Council.

This special local project helped to raise awareness for the arts and support for the library.  The pianos are all on display on the first floor of the Arlington Heights Library through November 7th.

One Warm Coat Drive 2018

To say we were blown away by our community’s generosity with our Coat Drive would be an understatement! In under 3 weeks, we partnered with One Warm Coat and collected over 150 coats for Palatine’s community organization, Journeys The Road Home. Journeys will be distributing to the homeless & near homeless throughout the NW suburbs. We are so grateful to all who stopped by our office, our homes , even holiday parties  to make sure they distributed coats for the needy. We are truly humbled and thankful for your support. What a way to start the year!

Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to helping families next holiday season.


In conjunction with One Warm Coat, The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer is proud to host a coat drive to collect clean, gently worn, warm coats. We invite area residents to make a difference in our local community by donating to this coat drive to help us reach our goal of collecting 75 coats for the community. All coats will be donated to Journeys, The Road Home in Palatine, a community organization in Palatine that assists the homeless and near homeless within the northwest suburbs.

“We are so excited about our upcoming One Warm Coat Drive and hope the community will support us.  Nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggle to provide a warm coat for their families.  One Warm Coat’s program helps us keep all of the coats we collect in this community, which will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat” said Ron Wittmeyer  of The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer

We have had an exciting start with a local school district donating 30 coats to our Coat Drive!


One Warm Coat

Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. Across North America, Open Warm Coats provide the coats to children, women and men in need.  “We are so grateful for our partners like The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer. It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for more than 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them. Thanks to RF Wittmeyer’s efforts, many people in this community will have a much warmer winter,” commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat.

One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization, works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. Additionally they raise awareness of the vital need for warm coats.  One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country. They also provide the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive.  Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected. They provide coats to any person in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Over the past 26 years, One Warm Coat has worked to give away more than 5 million coats.

About the Firm

Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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