BBQs on balconies?

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HOME Forums Forums Fire Code & Enforcement BBQs on balconies?

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    • #10204
      John WilsonJohn Wilson

      We’ve all had the question: “Are BBQs permitted on balconies?”  A quick search and Google would have you to believe that the Fire Code says nothing including numerous links to large departments quoting this.  We’ve always used “it’s a TSSA regulation” (my Chief is a Licenced HVAC Tech so I take his word for it on that one).

      When I look it up, starting at which puts the Section into application,  I get to Subsection 4.2.4. Assembly and Residential Occupancies.

      Application: This Subsection  applies to the storage and handling of flammable liquids and combustible liquids in buildings classified as assembly or residential occupancies,  except that it shall not apply to non-residential schools or colleges covered in Subsection 4.2.6.

      So to me that means that an apartment building would be included in this, so I move further down the Subsection to :

      Exterior Balconies: Flammable and combustible liquids shall not be stored on exterior balconies.

      I don’t see how a conventional BBQ with the 20lb propane tank doesn’t get covered in this. Add to that:

      Storage in Dwelling Units: No more than 30L of flammable liquids and combustible liquids, of which not more than 10L may be Class I liquids, may be stored in a dwelling unit.

      To me this is pretty clear that you also can’t store the 20lb tank in the apartment and try to challenge the definition of ‘stored’ to be that if you only had the tank attached to the BBQ while it was being actually operated it’s not being ‘stored’ but rather ‘used’ and the storage takes place elsewhere thus wouldn’t apply. We also know in a practical sense, no one ever takes the tank off the BBQ except to refill it.

      What am I seeing/missing that makes this quite simple in my mind while so many departments say otherwise?

    • #10205

      Hi Jon,


      In Kingston we have an old  by-law that prohibits propane BBQ’s on a balcony above grade.  The Propane Storage and Handling Act requires that a propane tank not be within 3 feet of an opening in a building (door, window) and at least 10 feet from any mechanical intake air system (example: window air conditioner).  This requirement eliminates most balconies from having adequate clearance to allow a BBQ.

      Also be aware that TSSA has informed us that the act has been amended to allow propane to be located on rooftops. see article of B149.2-15 for more information on that one.

      Hope this helps.


    • #10206
      Robert KingRobert King

      Part 4 of the Ontario Fire Code would not apply to “Liquefied Petroleum Gas”, Part 4 only applies to combustible liquids or flammable liquids.

    • #10223
      Michael BurnsMichael Burns

      Hi Jon,

      I don’t believe that propane cylinders would fall under the requirements of Subsection 4.2.4 for Assembly or Residential Occupancies as propane is a liquefied gas under pressure. Therefore propane does not fall under the definition of Flammable Liquid (within the defined terms of Sentence of Division A) or the Scope of Subsection 4.1.1 of Division B.

      My apologies if my references are slightly off as I’m referencing the National Fire Code of Canada.

      I don’ have a copy available to me at the moment, but I would check CSA B149.1 – Natural Gas & Propane Code.

    • #10258
      John WilsonJohn Wilson

      Thanks for the responses! I knew I was missing something.

      Del, you don’t happen to know which Article from that Act is the relevant one do you?

    • #10304
      Mike BechardMike Bechard

      Hi Jon,

      In North Bay we addressed the issue of bbq’s on balconies through a bylaw.  Essentially no fuel burning appliance is permitted on a balcony (above 1st storey).  This does not prevent the use of electric bbq’s.  In discussions with the TSSA rep they indicate that propane cylinders are only prohibited in elevators so a person can carry it up the stairs.  I am sure there are other limitations under the TSSA but then again I am not a TSSA inspector.

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