City ordinances do not prohibit barbecues on balconies or decks, but apartment owners may have lease rules prohibiting them. If so, the lease rules must be followed. If barbecues are allowed in your building, certain precautions should be taken. Follow these simple tips to prevent fires and burns:

  • Always use an approved metal barbecue at a distance of at least 3 feet from apartment walls or anything else that can burn.
  • Use propane barbecues according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • To start coals safely, stack briquettes in the center, then pour starter fluid over the coals. Allow it to soak in, and then light the coals. Never squirt more fluid onto ignited coals. A flare-up can occur which puts you at risk of serious burns.
  • Never use gasoline to start a barbecue fire. Gasoline has one use and that is to fuel engines.
  • Smoke from barbecues may enter other apartment windows and doors creating an annoyance to your neighbors. If this happens, state law requires that you extinguish the fire.
  • Always be present while cooking. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of fires in Saint Paul.
  • Wear close-fitting sleeves while you cook. Loose clothing can catch on fires. • Supervise children closely while you cook. Keep them away from hot barbecues and stoves.
  • Allow coals to cool, and then store them in a covered metal container. Charcoal ashes will be hot enough to start a fire even after three days.

Last Edited: January 12, 2022