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Barbecue Regulations for Multifamily Properties
Various types of bbq grills on a balconyManagers of properties with multiple units should review the restrictions set by the California State Fire Marshal's Office for the types of barbecues allowed on patios and balconies.

To reduce the risk of fires, know what materials are combustible.

Combustible materials

  • Wood or wood decking
  • Vinyl siding
  • Fabric awnings

Non-combustible materials
  • Stucco covered walls/ceilings
  • Concrete or tiled floors
  • Wood railings facing the exterior (not between units)
  • Certain composite deck and railing materials (ask a building inspector to learn more)

Regulations

All cities in Santa Clara County have adopted these regulations:

If the balcony or patio is constructed from combustible materials AND there is no overhead automatic fire sprinkler system installed throughout the entire building, then:
  • Do NOT use charcoal or open-flames, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) burners, or natural gas barbecues. If used in a common area, these types of barbecues must be at least 10 feet away from combustible walls and overhangs.
  • Do NOT store an LPG barbecue with a fuel size greater than 1 pound LPG capacity on a combustible balcony or within 10 feet of combustible construction.
  • Do NOT transport LPG containers with a water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds through elevators, exit and interior stairways, or common building areas. This limits most barbecues of this type to the ground floor.

What type of barbecue is allowed on combustible balconies and patios?
Electric grills can be used on combustible balconies and patios without exception.