Orlando Apartment Grilling Rules and Safety Tips
Rules and Safety Practices for Using a Grill for Orlando Apartment Owners
Grilling is a fun activity that will surely make the day for your family and friends. As a resident of Orlando, FL, grilling might be a hobby for you, and, likely, you can't get over the thought of having burgers and seasoned meats chops sizzling on your grill. However, you must exercise caution while grilling as it can also be dangerous.
According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, grilling activities were the cause of about 10,200 home fires annually between 2013 and 2017. The fire risk is heightened for apartment homeowners compared to single-family homeowners due to the limited space available for grilling. Here are some rules and safety practices for using a grill for apartment owners in Orlando, FL, that you should observe.
1. Cooking on Balconies
Apartments with balconies are highly sought after in Florida. This is because a balcony provides ample and much-desired outdoor space to a homeowner. The general rule of thumbs is that the larger the balcony, the better off you are. However, according to the Florida Fire Prevention Code, all apartment and condominium owners are prohibited from cooking on their balconies. The only exception granted is for those who wish to cook using electric appliances. As a grilling enthusiast, this means that you are not allowed to use a charcoal grill or a gas grill, and you can only use an electric grill.
2. Using Charcoal and Gas Grills
The fact that you are prohibited from using charcoal and gas grills doesn't mean that you can't grill as an apartment or condominium owner. The fire safety code outlines that you can grill on your charcoal or gas grill on the ground level at a distance of at least 15 feet from the apartment or condominium structure. Therefore, if your apartment has a large enough front or back utility area, you are free to grill from there using a charcoal or gas grill as long as you are set up at least 15 feet from the structure.
3. Storing Gas Grills and LPG Tanks
If you plan to set up your gas grill on the front or back utility area of your apartment, you should also be thinking of where you will be storing the gas grill and the LPG tank. This is because the Florida Fire Prevention Code also forbids keeping gas grills and LPG tanks that can hold quantities above 1 pound in apartments and condominiums beyond the first floor. Therefore you will have to arrange storage for your gas grill and LPG tanks on the ground or first floor.
What If You Fail to Comply with These Fire Prevention Codes?
It's best that you comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code for your safety and that of your neighbors. Your home might be among your most valuable investments, and losing it in a preventable fire can be devastating. Beyond property damage, there is also the risk of loss of life. If you fail to comply with these fire prevention codes, you will likely face stiff legal punishments.
A. The law stipulates that the Florida Fire Prevention Code violators be prosecuted similarly to those who have committed misdemeanor offenses. If found guilty in the court of law, you will be liable to paying a $500 fine or serving imprisonment for a period not exceeding two months, or both.
B. Additionally, the state and county fire inspectors are authorized to issue civil citations to those who breach the Florida Fire Prevention Code. Each citation carries a penalty of $50 plus $8 court fees if it's not contested. If you decide to contest a citation and you lose, you will pay a penalty of $500 plus the related court costs for every violation.
C. If you contravene the Florida Fire Prevention Code and cause a fire that damages property and causes injury or death of persons, your will be facing much harsher punishment. This is because your violation just graduated from a misdemeanor to a felony crime that can carry years or decades of imprisonment if convicted.
Additional apartment grilling safety practices
4. Keep the Grill Clean
Whether you are using an electric grill on your balcony or a charcoal or gas grill 15 feet from your apartment structure, you should always keep your grill clean. Having a clean grill significantly reduced the risk of a fire occurring. This is because, in most cases, it's the leftover and grease build-up on a dirty grill that ignites to start a fire.
5. Set Your Grill on Stable Ground
Failing to set up your grill on stable ground is a dangerous undertaking that puts you at significant risk of starting a fire and causing bodily harm to yourself and others. This is because your grill might tumble over as you are doing your grilling. If you are using a charcoal grill, red-burning charcoal will be spilling all over. If you are using a gas grill, the gas connection will likely become undone, spilling flammable gas in the air and risking an explosion. On the other hand, the cords for an electrical grill can snap and short-circuit, causing a fire when it falls.
In the Event of a Fire
When grilling, it's wise always to have a fire extinguisher close. This would allow you to put out any fire as soon as it occurs before it has the opportunity to cause significant damage. If the fire becomes uncontainable, get everyone to safety and call the Orlando Fire Department. Once the fire has been put out, you will need to undertake fire damage clean-up. Call SERVPRO of Winter Park at (407) 678-5391 for professional fire damage clean-up in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding areas.