Have you ever wondered if you're allowed to grill on your balcony or porch here in Utica, Rome, and the rest of Central New York?

Quick Answer- No, it's against the law. Specifically, New York State Fire Code section 308.1.4.

Long Explained Answer- Let's dig into the laws, and why they are in place.

Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices are not to be operated on
combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction.

Exceptions include one and two-family dwellings and balconies or decks that are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.”

So simply, gas and charcoal barbecues are prohibited on decks and balconies. The Fire Code of New York State does not prohibit the use and/or storage of electric grills on balconies too.

To add even more color, the rule does not apply to noncombustible construction such as concrete or steel or balconies protected by automatic fire sprinklers. A big hat tip to 107.9 Lite FM for the idea.

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Here are some Gas and Charcoal Grill Safety Outdoor Grilling Tips, thanks to Homeland Security:

1) Gas and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.

2) Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

3) Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.

4) Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.

5) Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.

6) Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

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