Let’s face it, there are a lot of awesome things about summer and most of them – like air conditioning, watermelon, and micheladas – can be enjoyed from the comfort of any home, no matter how humble. But for those of us who enjoy that magical summer pastime of grilling up a steak or some kebabs, it can be frustrating when you live an in apartment without a yard. Those of us who have the luxury of a balcony may make use of an outdoor grill on that little sliver of sunlight. If that’s you, be sure to consider the following tips before firing up this summer.
Is it Legal?
In many metropolitan areas, municipal codes make it illegal to have any type of grill on a balcony. Other laws state that a grill is okay, as long as it is a certain number of feet away from the building. Still other laws state gas or electric grills are okay, but no charcoal. All of these are meant to reduce the potential fire hazard that could be caused by open flames near buildings. Pretty common sense stuff, it just depends on where you live. Be sure to check the laws in your area before putting out your balcony grill this summer.
Does Your Building Allow It?
Even in those cities where you are legally allowed to have a balcony grill, you may not be allowed by your apartment building or condo board. There may be a clause in your lease that says you can’t cook outside at all, so do a quick review before you get a warning.
Is it Safe?
Even though something is legal and allowed doesn’t guarantee it’s actually safe. If you have a wooden balcony and want to fire up any kind of grill, well, I can’t really recommend it. If you live in a high rise and you feel like your grill might tip over and rain charcoal down on passersby from 10 stories up, a balcony grill may not be the best idea. Better yet, if you feel unsafe at all, better to break out the grill pan in the kitchen and avoid a potentially massive disaster.
Go to a Park.
If all else fails, you can always hit up a local park. Most bigger parks have public grills, but if that weirds you out (does anyone ever clean those things?) you can always just take your portable balcony grill to the park and fire it up. Set up at a picnic table and grill all the meats and veggies you want with no fear whatsoever of burning down your apartment complex.