Charcoal grills come into prominent use in the spring and summer. Extreme caution should be taken when cooking on charcoal grills to prevent painful burn injuries and inhalation of smoke and gases. Gasoline should never be used in place of charcoal lighter fluid. And never reapply charcoal lighter fluid after the fire has started; the flames can ignite the vapors, and travel up to the can causing an explosion.
Charcoal grills should never be used in confined spaces, such as homes, campers or tents, or any other area not properly ventilated.
El Paso Fire Officials would like to remind the residents living in apartment complexes and apartment managers about laws regulating the usage of "any" grills, whether charcoal or gas, under a covered combustible walkway, combustible decks or covered combustible balconies.
Under the International Fire Code: Chapter 3 General Precautions Against Fire,
Section 305 -- Ignitions Sources, Subsections 305.4 -- Deliberate or negligent burning: It shall be unlawful to deliberately or through negligence set fire to or cause the burning of combustible material in such a manner as to endanger the safety of persons or property.
Section 308 -- Open Flames, Subsections 308.1.4 - Open-flame cooking devices: Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
Please take the necessary precautions to avoid any fires at your facility and avoid any possible citations or fines. A citation shall be issued to the person, owning or operating the grill being used at the time within the prohibited area. The E.P.F.D. will allow the storage w/o the propane tank of the "grills" on the balconies, decks, or walkways. The Fire Department units will report any unauthorized usage to the Fire Prevention Division and we will investigate and shall take the necessary actions to correct the violation.
Managers: It will be your responsibility to report any unauthorized usage of a grill within the prohibited areas. You may want to make copies of this letter and distribute to the tenants; post the letter in a conspicuous place; or advise your tenants at time of lease/rental agreement.
The mission of the fire department is to provide emergency response, prevention, preparedness, and education to residents, businesses and visitors of our city so they can live safely and prosper in a hazard resilient community.