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Summer Barbecues in NYC

Summer Barbecues in NYC

Summer and grilling go hand in hand so we want to be sure our extended friends and family all have a safe and enjoyable summer. Aside from the do’s and don’ts on how to operate a grill, see below for some quick facts pertaining to the use of grills in NYC.

NYC Fire Code Section 307.5.3 mandates, “Portable outdoor barbecues shall not be stored or used within 10 feet (3048 mm) of any combustible waste, combustible material, or any combustible building surface, including combustible roofs and deck.” By default, this means that grills are NOT permitted in the following areas:

  • Fire escapes
  • Inside of a dwelling
  • Balconies and terraces unless they adhere to the 10′ rule

Below are some quick facts pertaining to the different types of grills:

Propane Gas Barbecues – Standard propane barbecues use 20-pound liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) containers. While propane tanks cannot be stored on roofs, you may use a propane tank that is 16.4 ounces or less

Natural Gas Barbecues – Are becoming increasingly common in new developments. Other than ensuring that they adhere to the Fire Code and DOB’s Building Bulletin 2015-016, it is important to note that natural gas grills must be installed by a New York City Licensed Master Plumber according to the NYC Fuel Gas Code. In addition, the piping must be inspected and tested according to that Code. It is illegal to use a grill produced for commercial use in a residence.

Charcoal Barbecues – Cooking with a charcoal barbecue is legal on a terrace or in a backyard – but NOT on a balcony or roof. You must have immediate access to a fire extinguisher or a water supply such as a garden hose.

Electric Barbecues – Are legal to install, use and maintain at residential properties on balconies, terraces, roofs or yards. Barbecue-sized electric grills use a substantial amount of electricity and will need to be approved by a Licensed Electrician to ensure that your outlet has an electric current sufficient to safely operate the grill.
For summer fire safety tips, click here