Grills & Fire Code Requirements

Play it safe! Please no gas grills on your balconies!

These are the use and storage requirements for grills in apartments or condominiums. What happens if I fail to comply?

Cooking on Balconies

The Florida Fire Prevention Code prohibits any cooking on a balcony of an apartment or condominium. The only exception is for electrical cooking appliances such as electric ranges or electric grills.

Storage of L.P. Gas or Gas Grills

The Florida Fire Prevention Code prohibits the storage or use of L.P. gas in quantities greater than 1 pound above the first floor in any apartment or condominium. Therefore, L.P. gas grills cannot be stored on a balcony. It is important to note that L.P. gas cylinders cannot be stored inside the residential unit or anywhere above the first floor.

The specific code sections are as follows:

NFPA 1:10.11.7: For other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, gas-fired grill, charcoal 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. Listed electric ranges, grills, or similar electrical apparatus shall be permitted. (Per NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code, Florida 2007 Edition)

NFPA 1:69.5.3.5: Storage Within Resdential Buildings. Storage of cylinders within a residential building, including the basement or any storage area in a common basement storage area in multiple-family buildings and attached garages, shall be limited to cylinders each with a maximum water capacity of 2.7 lb (1.2 kg) and shall not exceed 5.4 lb (2.4 kg) aggregate water capacity for smaller cylinders per each living space unit.

PLEASE NOTE: Many condominiums or apartment complexes have regulations on the use of barbecue grills that exceed fire code requirements. Please check with your management staff to see what requirements or exceptions apply to use of grills at your complex.

What Happens if I Fail to Correct a Fire Code Violation?

In almost all cases fire code violations are able to be corrected within the time given in the “notice of violation” issued by the fire inspector. In some cases, there are unusual circumstances that prevent timely compliance and we are often able to work with those who are making a good faith effort to comply. If you do need extended time to comply, you should contact your inspector as soon as possible to discuss your request.

When someone does not comply, enforcement action will be taken as described below:

  • The local enforcement procedures and penalties for failure to comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code, or the Uniform Firesafety Standards, are found in St. Johns County Ordinance #93-6.
  • Both the owner and managers of a business may be held responsible for violating the fire codes.
  • The ordinance states that violators of the fire code may be prosecuted in the same manner as misdemeanors, and upon conviction they may be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment in the County Jail not to exceed 60 days, or both.
  • The ordinance also states that fire inspectors may issue civil citations to violators. A separate citation may be given for each violation, and each day that a violation continues is a separate offense. If the citation is not contested the penalty is $50.00, plus court costs of $8.00. If a violator chooses to contest the citation and is convicted, the judge may impose a penalty up to $500.00 plus court costs for each violation.
  • The County also has other enforcement options, including but not limited to seeking a mandatory injunction from a court.