GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR
Charcoal, natural gas and propane gas grills now provide the most popular methods used for out of doors cooking. Propane and natural gas grills are fast becoming the leading choice by many out door chefs because of the convenience they provide. Gas grills are easy to start, burn most evenly and are easiest to extinguish. However all three methods offer inherent dangers which are addressed by minimal restrictions found in the Fire Code of New York State.
Regardless of the fuel type, in other than single and two family homes, open flame cooking appliances are not permitted to be used on combustible balconies or decks or within 10 feet of a combustible structure.
Propane gas grills. Most propane gas grills are portable and have a fuel container which is mounted directly on the appliance. The typical fuel container is commonly referred to as a 20 lbs cylinder, which holds approximately 5 gallons of liquid propane. Any containers having a capacity greater than one pound of liquid propane are not permitted to be used or stored on balconies. Where portable cylinders are mounted directly on the gas appliance, the appliance must be used and stored at least 3 feet horizontally from any building opening below the level of the cylinder. The cylinder can only be stored under a roof enclosure, such as a porch or canopy, if it’s open for at least 50% of its perimeter and is well ventilated. No propane gas cylinders shall be stored or used in a basement, pit or similar location where heavier than air gas might collect. Under no circumstances is the cylinder permitted to be stored indoors.
Natural gas grills. Most natural gas grills are not portable and are directly piped to the home’s domestic gas service.
Differences in Propane Gas vs. Natural Gas
· Propane Gas is transported and stored as a liquid and used as a “heavier than air” gas. Natural Gas is transported and used as a “lighter than air” gas.
· When lighting Propane Gas the source of ignition should be below the burners. When lighting Natural Gas the source of ignition should be above the burners.
· Burners for each gas have a different orifice size (opening in gas jets on the burners) and must be matched for the type of gas which they support. · Propane gas should be shut off at the cylinder valve and the pressure removed from the approved hose, which delivers the gas from the tank to the burners. This can be done by turning on and then off again the burner valve after shutting off the cylinder valve. Natural gas may be shut off at the burner valve when the gas is piped to the appliance.·
In both gases, if attempts to light the burners fail, do not allow the gas to flow from the burners very long without flame. Shut off the fuel for a few minutes before re-trying to ignite burners
Do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Fire Marshal (585) 336-6097 if you have any questions regarding this or any other fire safety concern.