The careless use of open-flame cooking devices, as well as improper disposal of coals and embers, have historically been the cause of numerous fires at multi-family type occupancies such as apartment and condominium complexes, displacing families and resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. As a result, an ordinance was developed several years ago pertaining to the use of open-flame cooking appliances at multi-family complexes that subsequently became part of the North Carolina Fire Code. The provisions in the code read:
Section 308.3.1 "Open-flame cooking devices":
"Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
1. One- and two- family dwellings.
2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system."
Section 308.3.1.1 "Liquefied-petroleum-gas-fueled cooking devices":
"LP-gas burners having an LP-gas container with a water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity] shall not be located on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
Exception: One- and two- family dwellings".
To report a violation of this ordinance, you may contact the Charlotte Fire Department Communications Division at 704-336-2441. Someone will be dispatched to follow-up on the complaint. Anyone violating this ordinance will be subjected to an immediate fine issued by a fire official.
Note that the grilling ordinance DOES NOT apply to "town homes", where there are set property lines, with land ownership.
For further information, or to speak with your assigned area inspector, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 704-336-2101.