Usually when one hears about an accident, fire or even an explosion caused by a barbecue grill it’s during the warm months of spring and summer or even into the autumn. But there are many people who enjoy using their grill year-round, weather permitting, because as most know, grilling gives food that special taste that usually cannot come from a regular stove or oven. But, with grilling, regardless of time of year, there is always a degree of danger that causes people to be a bit more careful.
Last Monday, fire fighters received a call and responded to what was said to be a grill fire in South Boston. As always, they arrived promptly, and all was taken care of. It could have been a problem, but these are professional and very competent first responders, so they had the situation under control in a very short time. But it could have been a serious situation. In addition to taking care of the problem, traffic was disrupted. The firefighters on scene suggested that neighbors get another reminder on the proper ways to use a grill, as well as the legal restrictions involved when grilling in the city.
No one here at SBT is trying to tell you where or how to use your grill. That’s not for us to decide, but here are the restrictions you should be aware of. And the reason for concern is that there have been incidents of grills causing fires over the years here in the neighborhood. We live in the city and the houses are close together. An out of control grill fire could cause not only a tragedy to the people using the grills but to surrounding homes as well.
(The following does not apply to the use and storage of Natural Gas grills permitted through ISD and installed by a licensed installer in accordance with proper codes and standards but does apply to the standard type charcoal and LP(propane) grills commonly used.)
Charcoal Grills: These are not allowed to be used on top of or within a building or a structure per order of the Boston Fire Dept.
LP (propane) Grills: City of Boston regulations prohibits the use and storage of the propane tanks or containers inside or on balconies above the first floor of any building or structure used for habitation. Also on first floor porches, decks or balconies enclosed by a roof/ceiling or other confining material and never on fire escapes or fire escape balconies.
Boston Fire Department officials urge all to keep grills clean for safety reasons.
Well readers, these are the rules put forth by the city that some of you have been asking about. Do with this information what you wish but please, by all means, this spring and summer when using your grills; do so carefully for your own personal safety, the safety of your family and guests and for your surrounding neighbors as well.
(To view, in detail the rules and regulations and for safety tips to consider when barbecuing, you can log onto the Boston Fire Department web page at www.cityofboston/fire and go to the link titled ‘Barbecue Safety Info’.)