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Cities And States Restrict BBQ Use For Urban Condo And Apartment Dwellers

By Stephen Daniels

Nothing says summer like a barbecue in the late afternoon or early evening hours just before dusk. Owners of single-family homes routinely dust off their charcoal grills and place them onto their patios for easy access during the warm summer months. For condominium and apartment dwellers, having a BBQ within city limits is not quite as easy. In fact, statewide and city-specific regulations, as well as homeowner associations, routinely issue BBQ restrictions to those urban residents with even a large outdoor space.

A good example is Washington state, which in 2004 banned outdoor barbecue grills on any decks associated with multi-family dwellings. Amending the building codes, the BBQ restrictions specified that the use of open-flame grills – charcoal or gas-powered – in the vicinity of balconies was prohibited. The exception to this rule is when an overhead sprinkler system is in place.

In the state of California, the fire code limits the use of a BBQ within city limits. Larger propane grills, charcoal grills and any kinds of cooking devices that require an open flame are prohibited in and around communities where renters would be cooking on a balcony or patio. At issue are fire dangers, especially in areas where decks are made of wood and where drapes and curtains near the patio entry pose a serious fire hazard.

That said, it is still possible to grill food within city limits, but it requires a bit of an adjustment and perhaps an investment in a different kind of grill. Once again, a good example is some areas of California, where small propane tank grills (those with a storage tank capacity of one pound or less) are permitted. This is the equivalent of a good-sized camping stove and may be used on a sturdy outdoor table. Since the grill is much smaller than the larger appliances, it is less likely for users to move it nearer to the patio door or other areas where a fire may break out. (Keep in mind that it is not permissible to store a propane tank inside an apartment or keep it on the balcony!)

Electric grills are another means of working around the BBQ restrictions. In fact, since they require little more than a long cord to be plugged into an exterior outlet, they act more like electric frying pans than grilling accessories. Barbecuing purists have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these electric grills, but if the option is to use them versus not having summer grilling opportunities at all, they are well worth a try.

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Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed SEO 2.0researcher. For award-winning BBQ accessories and tools, he recommends BBQ Innovations. These grilling experts offer the Rib-O-Lator rotisserie attachment, a mouth-watering variety of sauces, unique smoky wood chips and more, promising to bring big flavor to barbeques of all kinds.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Daniels, Stephen "Cities And States Restrict BBQ Use For Urban Condo And Apartment Dwellers." Cities And States Restrict BBQ Use For Urban Condo And Apartment Dwellers. 22 Jun. 2010. 6 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Daniels, S (2010, June 22). Cities And States Restrict BBQ Use For Urban Condo And Apartment Dwellers. Retrieved September 6, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Daniels, Stephen "Cities And States Restrict BBQ Use For Urban Condo And Apartment Dwellers"

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