Portable Grill Use

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information as to the permitted use of grills at multi-unit dwellings and one and two-family dwellings. 

Definitions: Multi-Unit Dwelling means any structure that contains three or more single units, which provide permanent or transient living facilities, which may or may not include cooking and eating facilities, for one or more persons. This term shall include but not be limited to: rooming houses, dormitories, motels, hotels, apartment buildings, buildings which contain condominium units, duplexes, and houses; provided, however, that such buildings contain three or more units. (It should be noted that Saf-C 6001.11 and RSA 153:1 does define “Multi-unit dwelling” as any structure with 2 or more single units, however, this specific code requirement relates to occupancies/structures with more than two dwelling units). 

One and Two-Family Dwelling means any structure that contains one or two dwelling units, which is designed to be occupied for living purposes, and which is used by one, two or more families exclusively as a home. 

Multi-Unit Dwellings (three or more single units)

For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose, shall be used or kindled on any balcony or under any overhanging portion, or within 10 ft. (3 m) of any structure. 

  1. Effective: August 15, 2017 - For all dwellings, including multi-unit dwellings, electric grills with a safety certification from a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), shall not be considered open flame cooking devices under the state fire code. Listed equipment permanently installed in accordance with its listing, applicable codes, and manufacturer’s instructions shall be permitted. 
  2. The term listed is one of great importance. The equipment shall be used in accordance to the manufacturer’s listing to include the location for use and distances to combustibles. NOTE: It is not the intent of this paragraph to allow the permanent installation of portable equipment.)

One and Two-Family Dwellings

Grill safety recommendations: 

  • Grills shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions.
  • Grills should never be used inside any building, garage, shed, or breezeway. 
  • Do not use grills under building overhangs or covered areas (e.g., awnings, umbrellas, porches or gazebos). 
  • Keep loose clothing away from any cooking surfaces and beware of grease flare-ups. 
  • Check the hoses on gas grills for any cracks or deterioration. 
  • Check all connections to the gas tank for leaks by applying a soap and water solution to the hose and connections. If you see any bubbles on the hose or any connection turn off the gas, clean off the soap solution, and check all of the connections for tightness and recheck the hose and connections using the soap solution again. 
  • Never leave your grill unattended and keep children and pets at least 3 ft. away from the grill area. 

Questions or complaints related to the above should be directed to the Lebanon Fire Department Fire Prevention Division at 603-448-8810.

References: (1) NFPA 1, Fire Code 2009 Edition ch.10.11.6 (2) NFPA 1, Fire Code 2009 Edition ch.