The NYC Fire code regulates every flames, fireplaces, grills and barbecues in every boroughs, also in private dwellings and non-apartment dwellings (this contains townhouses and also freestanding homes).

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Open fires—defined together fires for non-cooking purposes not exhausted through a flue (chimney)—are prohibited in brand-new York. In addition, all brand-new wood-burning fireplaces (both indoor and also outdoor) were banned in 2014 as part of invoice de Blasio’s clean waiting initiative. Open up wood-burning fires room now completely prohibited in all five boroughs. This doesn’t mean you can’t have actually a fireplace—it just way it can not be a traditional, campfire-style timber burning flame. Overall, fire pits and fire bowls are generally tricky to get approval for if no outright banned—steer clear.

Fire code for food-prep flames allows some lenience however is tho tricky to navigate. Any grill or barbecue (regardless the fuel source) have to be activate outdoors and at least 10 feet from any kind of combustible surface (including combustible building surfaces, combustible roofs and also combustible decks). This generally means that barbecues can not be supplied on many balconies, terraces and also smaller rooftops due to size constraints. All grills and barbecues must likewise have close access to a fire extinguisher, 4-gallon pail the water or a garden hose at all times. Full grate area of any portable out grill cannot exceed 10 square feet, and also all grills and barbecues must additionally not be produced commercial usage.

WHAT wake up IF ns GET recorded BREAKING THE LAW?

Buildings are regularly stricter in their grill/barbecue/fire code enforcement 보다 the city is (for good reason), and also newer buildings tend to be the strictest. Your building may greatly fine you, eject friend or even sue you. Some buildings and neighborhoods space laxer than others, yet if the city catches you violating fire code regulations, fines can be heavy relying on the nature of the violation. First strikes native the city generally come through an stimulate to just discontinue use of the offending fire accessory and also sometimes a ticket, however continual violations space both dangerous and expensive—they can lead to fines of 10s of countless dollars and ongoing litigation with neighbors, landlords, and also the city.

Depending on just how it’s fueled, the fire bowl on this gorgeous NYC terrace may raise some eyebrows v the fire deparment.

CAN i TRUST that THE FIRE accessories I check out IN NYC STORES are LEGAL come USE?

Although many types of grills and outdoor fireplaces room banned or only approved in distinctive circumstances, the Fire room does not have jurisdiction end retailers that market them, so many retailers proceed to offer illegal fire equipment without the expertise that lock illegal in the city (or, in some cases, regardless of that knowledge). Just because a fire accessory is available for revenue or installation in ~ the city go not typical that accessory is necessarily legal.


This type of portable propane grill probably won’t fly v your structure or v the city’s fire department. Photograph via top top The Gas blog.

PROPANEProbably no OK—proceed v caution. For the many part, propane grills are considered dangerous and not enabled in apartment buildings. You can’t even store much extra propane in NYC apartments in many circumstances—the max amount any kind of one terraced or balconied apartment is allowed to have actually at any given time is 4 16.4-oz containers (the same tiny amount supplied for hand-held propane torches) and also you can’t save extra containers in basements or storage units. This is too small propane come operate many standard portable propane grills, and also noncompliance v storage regulations have the right to lead to a large fine if you’re caught. However, every Frank Dwyer, a spokesman native the Fire Department, standard-size propane barbecues ARE enabled in the earlier yards that one- come two-family homes (rather than apartment buildings), and also smaller propane grills can even be enabled on terraces, balconies and also rooftops in apartment buildings in part circumstances noted owners monitor propane quantity & storage guidelines.

A miniature charcoal grill burns top top a sidewalk (and we must note the sidewalk grilling is additionally illegal in the city). Picture via the Streeteasy’s blog One Block Over.

CHARCOALMaybe OK, but check with your building. Portable charcoal grills space legal to use in earlier yards or part courtyards as long as lock 10 feet far from every combustible materials. Every Dwyer, castle are also legal top top terraces, balconies and also rooftops, but most apartment buildings have their own rules restricting charcoal grills and also are an extremely strict about enforcement.

This portable electrical grill by Kenyon have the right to be offered both indoors and outdoors. At practically $900, this stainless steel model isn’t cheap.

ELECTRICProbably OK, but check v your building. Electric grills space legal to use on terraces, balconies and also in backyards and also courtyards as long as they satisfy the 10-foot requirement and are allowed by structure boards/management. However, the Fire Dep’t recommends having a DOB-licensed electrician examine your outlets to ensure they can handle the current. The greatest risk in electric grills comes from cooking grease dripping top top the exposed electrical heating aspects and starting a fire, so (as always) be certain to have actually a fire extinguisher close by.


This enchanting Fire Wok is lovely because that camping, however not for sure for new York City terraces.

SCREENED OR UNSCREENED FIRE BOWLSNot OK. Prevent them. These screened wok-like metal pits are not allowed if lock burn timber or other solid fuel, also if they have enclosing displays on top. Burning hardwood or solid fuel designates this as open fires per the NYC Fire Code, i beg your pardon are completely prohibited. This fire pits aren’t supposed for cooking, and remember—non-cooking fire is only permitted if the is exhausted through a flue. It’s crucial not to confuse this fire woks through barbecue grills the come in comparable shapes—barbecues that burn charcoal, propane or piped organic gas space exceptions due to the fact that they generate heat and also controlled flames and are used for food preparation through a metal grill, quite than the “uncontrolled fire” that illegal wood-burning fire bowls and also fire pits.

This Bed Stuy chiminea is technically illegal come use. Let’s expect it’s only decorative! picture via Gardenista.

CHIMINEASProbably not OK—proceed v caution. Although yes sir been part debate around chimineas recently, Fire Dep’t Spokesman Jim long went on the record to speak chimineas space “strictly prohibited and illegal to use in the City of brand-new York.” The fire accessories the light chimineas—wood, charcoal and sometimes gas—are every considered component of open up fires. Again, chimineas room not regulated flames expected for cooking, i beg your pardon restricts their usage.

A ventless fireplace top top a Manhattan terrace through Hearth Cabinet. Project by Michael wood Interiors.

VENTLESS FIREPLACESOK to use. Only one brand (Hearth Cabinet) the ventless fireplace has actually been unequivocally authorized by the city of new York for usage in all setups (indoor and outdoor). The Hearth room is a self-contained unit that doesn’t burn gas, hardwood or fluid fuel—instead, it offers a “safety gel cartridge” to create flames enclosed by a screen. The NYC fire dep’t has actually classified this together a “decorative piece of furniture the looks favor a fireplace,” quite than a fireplace/open fire, and also as such, it is widely legal. Other ventless fireplaces are most likely to be authorized as long as they’re similar in usage and design.

This embedded electrical cooktop doesn’t usage flames or hot coils, removing much of the fire risk that comes v grilling.

EMBEDDED ELECTRIC cooking SURFACES: OK to use.These space not taken into consideration grills or barbecues since they are not open-grate food preparation surfaces rely over heater elements. As lengthy as they space not commercial grade, these warm cooktop surface (both portable and permanent hotplate-like devices) are totally legal for every indoor and outdoor use.


A chef-grade natural gas grill at among TTE’s listings.

NATURAL GAS GRILLSProbably OK, but check with your building. Natural gas grills room OK as lengthy as they’re produced residential (not commercial) food preparation use, 10 feet from any kind of combustible material, and also gas lines have been installed by a NYC understand Plumber. This is the safest choice for rooftop and also terrace grills. As always, her building’s separation, personal, instance rules and regulations trump brand-new York City’s.

Outdoor gas fireplaces like this one in ~ 15 Cliff St in new York room fine as lengthy as they are properly installed by a licensed understand Plumber.

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Overall, the fire code of new York City is complex, transforms often, and also can be taken in different and also even conflicting methods by the fire department, so it’s finest to examine with neighborhood fire departments or a fire room representative if over there are outstanding questions or concerns. As always, we’re no lawyers and this isn’t legal advice—it’s always best to consult v your building, fire department and also attorney before making any type of changes or additions to her terrace entailing grills, barbecues and fire accessories. 

Does every one of this sound too facility to issue about? Here’s a perform of pre-approved grilling spaces in NYC parks.