Regulations for Portable Grills

State Laws

Section 504.8 of the North Carolina State Fire Prevention Code prohibits outdoor grilling within 10 feet vertically and horizontally of all occupancies except one and two family dwellings and townhouses. The code applies to charcoal grills, LP-gas grills, hibachis, smokers, or any appliance which use an open flame to cook.

These regulations apply only when grills are in use. The storage of grills when they are not in use, or when they’re cool and not subject to creating a fire hazard, is not regulated by this requirement. In addition, we would like to offer the following clarifications:

  • These regulations also apply to portable electric grills if the grill contains loose heat storage material such as lava rocks.
  • The storage of grills with LP tanks having water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds is permitted only on decks, porches, and patios at ground level or those which have exterior stairs for access. This is a National Fire Protection Standard requirement.
  • The 10 feet of clearance also applies to combustible materials such as pine straw, pine bark, and other combustible landscaping materials.
  • The regulations do not apply to fixed grills, but strict attention should be paid to the grill instructions to ensure that the required clearances are maintained.