BBQ Regulations & Safety
West Metro Fire receives many inquiries about what is allowed with regard to barbeque grills.
Open-flame cooking devices
Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3049 mm) of combustible construction.
1. One and two-family dwellings
2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 2 1/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].
If you live in an apartment building or other multifamily dwelling, you may not operate open-flame cooking devices on your balcony or patio that are within 10 feet of combustible construction. One and two family dwellings, which include townhomes, are exempt.
The exceptions also include decks and balconies protected by an automatic sprinkler system. You may also use a propane grill if it is utilizes a small 2 ½ pound tank. The larger 20 pound bottles are not allowed on balconies.
Another option is to use an electric grill, which has no restrictions.
The enforcement of these regulations is making a difference. West Metro Fire has seen a dramatic decrease in structure fires attributed to barbecue grills and we appreciate your cooperation in following these regulations.
Fire Pits and Portable Fire Places
The use of fire pits and portable fire places is permissible within the West Metro Fire Protection District if the following requirements are met and there are no fire bans in place.
Here are some things to remember about recreational fires and portable fire places:
A recreational fire is limited to a pile size of 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. A recreational fire does not require a permit, but anything larger requires an open burn permit (bonfire or agricultural burn).
A recreational fire pit must be at least 25 feet from a structure or combustible material.
Portable fire places must be at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible material and shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. One and two family dwellings, which include townhomes, are exempt from this distance requirement.
Recreational fires are for recreation, not for burning yard waste or rubbish. Fuel should consist of cut and dried wood or untreated lumber. If you are burning yard waste you will be asked to extinguish the fire.
If your fire creates or adds to a hazardous condition you will be asked to put it out. We ask that you be sensitive to how smoke may affect your neighbors.
Please check to see if there are any burn bans currently in effect. Information can be found on the County Sheriff’s web site.
The following information is taken from the 2015 Edition of the International Fire Code:
An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
A portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top.
OPEN BURNING, RECREATIONAL FIRES AND PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACES
307.1.1 Prohibited open burning.
Open burning shall be prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
307.3 Extinguishment authority.
When open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or a required permit for open burning has not been obtained, the fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment of the open burning operation.
A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
307.4.2 Recreational fires.
Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
307.4.3 Portable outdoor fireplaces
Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.
Exception: Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one- and two-family dwellings.
Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
Contact us with questions regarding BBQ and Fire Pits Regulations.