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Know What's Legal When it Comes to Grilling in Boston

Charcoal grills must be on the ground, and propane grills are not allowed to be above the first floor.

Are you grilling this summer? Before you do, please make sure that you're following both city and state laws.

"There are two type of grills in Boston - propane and charcoal," said Boston Fire Department Spokesperson Steve MacDonald. "Charcoal grills are not allowed on any structure and have to be on ground."

MacDonald said that is a Boston law.

"Propane grills under state law, should not be above the first floor of any building," said MacDonald. 

MacDonald said grilling issues are a bigger problem in crowded neighborhoods like the Back Bay, the South End, East Boston and Charlestown, where there aren't a lot of single-family homes.

"The big rule with propane is we don’t want propane tanks entering the house. It’s to keep the propane out and on the first floor," explained MacDonald.

MacDonald also provided three summer safety tip issues: 

  1. Grilling: "Grilling is #1 because a lot of people do it, and it does cause fires." MacDonald implored residents to use common sense, so don’t leave a grill unattended, or up against a house. "If it’s 20 mph winds, don’t be spraying lighter fluid all over the place," he added.
  2. Electrical Outlets: "In winter we worry about the cold, and people go to extraordinary lengths to keep themselves warm. In the summer, if you’re using AC or fans use them properly. If you have an AC and it keeps tripping the circuit breaker, that probably means there's an electrical problem. Don’t just keep on plugging it in. The same with fans," said MacDonald, advising residents to call an electrician if problems persist. "If you need to use a couple of extension cords, you should probably look at where you’re plugging it in. Some times wires are under rugs and become frayed."
  3. Candles and cooking: "For summer safety, it’s always just home safety, be it candles or cooking. All these things you should use some fire sense. Don’t leave candles unattended or things cooking on the stove and go and read a book. Use common sense."
rhea becker August 01, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Thanks for this information. I see lots of grills on backyard porches in JP.

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