Winter Grilling on the Balcony?

by admin on January 10, 2012

Winter Grilling

Grilling has become very popular year round. What once was seen as a summer activity is now taking place in all seasons. When grilling in unpleasant weather you may be tempted to move the grill closer to the house to keep it out of the conditions and to keep yourself from getting cold or wet. By doing so you increase the risk of a grilling mishap or equipment malfunction that could cause a damaging fire to your home or those around you.

Not only is this dangerous but it is against the law. Ohio Fire Code Section 308.3.1 prohibits the use of open-flame cooking devices on decks and balconies attached to any multi-family structure with over two-families. You also can’t cook within 10 feet of any combustible construction including a deck near a wall, fence or railing. This includes both charcoal and propane grills that are over one pound in size (Most propane tanks are at least 20 pounds).

The separation of your grill and home reduces the likelihood of flare-ups coming in contact with a combustible wall. Also hot embers could fly from the grill and set the structure on fire. Once a fire is started, the fuel from your grill could further feed the fire and cause greater damage.

Although single and double family homes are allowed to using cooking devices on decks it is important to use caution. There is always a danger of an out of control fire and harmful smoke. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home or in a neighboring unit without you even knowing. Since you can’t control the wind it is important to pay attention to where it is blowing the smoke.

According to the NFPA, there is an average of 7,900 annual home grill fires. These fires result in a great deal of property damage and over one-third involve grills that were on a balcony or porch.

Cooking on a balcony in a multi-family structure is dangerous and illegal. You put many people and homes at risk so follow the law and move your outdoor cooking away from the building.

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