Outdoor Grilling and Fire Safety in Seattle Condos

Summer time means outdoor grilling time – and Seattle Condo owners are no exception. While grilling outdoors and dining al fresco make great memories and are absolutely enjoyable to do, especially this time of the year, following safety precautions and regulations when working with fire - whether in a small or large outdoor space - is always an absolute must.

Know how to properly set-up and operate your outdoor grill. Read your applicable owner's manuals and properly follow assembly, operation, and safety guidelines. Situate your grill on a safe, level surface. Stay with your grill from the start of cooking until the end, using the proper (long-handled) grilling tools and grilling mitts all the while. Of course, once the heated meal preparation is complete, be sure to shut off/cool off and dispose of the fuel source with care.

Be certain you are able to grill in your desired space. Although grilling is currently exempt from regulation in Seattle (and Washington, for that matter), condo building owners and condo associations may have their own rules and restrictions.Quoting an April 2007 Factsheet(http://www.seattle.gov/fire/pubEd/brochures/Outdoor%20Grilling.pdf) from the City of Seattle Fire Department, “[t]he use of barbecues in apartments, condominiums and single-family homes is not regulated by current Washington State law. The Seattle Fire Department recommends the use of one-pound propane cylinders as the least hazardous fuel source, particularly on decks of multi-family residences.” That said, condo building owners via condo associations may have their own specific rules and restrictions pertaining to outdoor grilling and may even prohibit such use outright; check with relevant owner's agreements/association rules.

 

Take note that portable outdoor fireplaces/patio fireplaces are NOT the same as grills. Portable outdoor fireplaces/patio fireplaces are not permitted on condo decks or balconies or patios unless the fire is located farther than 10 feet from a structure (but single-family homes and duplexes are exempt from this regulation). According to the Seattle Fire Department's Recreational and Cooking Fire Regulations, Updated July 2014(http://www.seattle.gov/fire/FMO/firecode/CAM/5022CAM%20RecreationalFires.pdf): The patio fireplace may not be placed “on a deck or balcony” and may not be “located within 10 feet of a structure…. Use of patio fireplaces at single family homes and duplexes are exempt from this requirement.” Since most balconies and patios in Seattle condos are smaller in size than 10 feet from any given structure, portable outdoor fireplaces/patio fireplaces are thus not permitted in such cases.

 

Note that this post is for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. For more information, read the latest regulations on Recreational and Cooking Fire Regulations, Updated July 2014, here. (http://www.seattle.gov/fire/FMO/firecode/CAM/5022CAM%20RecreationalFires.pdf)

 

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