BBQ’s on Balconies, Roof Decks, Rear Yards and Courtyards of Multiple Dwellings and One or Two Family Dwellings

BBQ’s on Balconies, Roof Decks, Rear Yards and Courtyards of Multiple Dwellings and One or Two Family Dwellings

By Bruno Caligara

With summer fast approaching, many property owners will receive requests from tenants about the possibility of using a BBQ. The answer is, maybe. The Fire Code and the NYC Fuel Gas Code outlines what is permitted and compliance required to enjoy the use of summertime’s favorite cooking system.

Fire Code- Section FC307.5 regulates the use of charcoal, piped natural gas, LPG and electric barbecues. You should refer to this section for complete requirements.

Standard “backyard-type” propane barbecues (using 20 pound LPG containers) are not allowed on balconies, roof decks, rear yards and courtyards of apartment buildings and other multiple dwellings.

All barbecues must be placed at least 10 feet from combustible material and combustible waste (FC307.5.3). This 10 foot separation requirement would apply to, among other things, any building of combustible construction, combustible building siding, combustible furnishings such as plastic or wood chairs and tables, and combustible decking. In addition, a garden hose attached to a water supply or a portable fire extinguisher must be nearby and readily available for use(FC307.5.4).  The maximum grate size of the grill shall not exceed 10 sq. ft. in area (FC307.5.2).

If proposing to use a natural gas connection,  compliance with FC307.5.5 and Fuel Gas Code Chapter 4, sections  FGC 402, through FGC 411, chapter 6, section FGC 623.1 through FGC 623.2.1.

For LPG (Liquid Propane Gas) containers FC307.5.6 must comply with FC307.5.6.1 and FC 307.5.6.2:

1-   FC307.5.6.1R-2 Occupancies ( multi-family)–

Only portable outdoor barbecues designed for use with LPG containers with a capacity of 16.4 ounces (0.465 kg) may be stored or used on the premises of a Group R-2 occupancy. Indoor storage of 16.4-ounce (0.465 kg) LPG containers for this or any other purpose is limited to a maximum of four such containers per dwelling unit.

2-    FC307.5.6.2 R-3 Occupancies ( one or two Family )

Portable outdoor barbecues designed for use with LPG containers with a capacity of 20 pounds (9.08 kg) or LPG containers with a capacity of 16.4 ounces (0.465 kg) may be stored or used on the premises of a Group R-3 occupancy. Twenty-pound LPG containers shall not be stored or used indoors, or on any rooftop or balcony. A maximum of two 20-pound LPG containers may be used to fuel a portable outdoor barbecue. Indoor storage of 16.4-ounce (0.465 kg) LPG containers for this or any other purpose is limited to a maximum of four such containers per dwelling unit.

FC 307.5.7 Cleaning.

Portable outdoor barbecues shall be periodically cleaned by removing grease or fat accumulations from grills and in trays below the grill.

Please contact Metropolis Group Inc. regarding these regulations prior to any installation.