When we are grilling, we often want a spot that sits closest to our front or back door to make things easier for us by, rather literally, saving us a few steps to the grill.
Having a deck adds luxury to the home, where many memories are made even if you are sitting out enjoying the outdoors. The question is, should you grill on it—and how safe is it to do so?
According to the federal government down to the municipal governments, you should not grill on a deck; it is not safe and not recommended.
Still, for the griller who nevertheless wants to do it, there are ways to achieve this. If grilling on your deck is what you wish to do, you may decide to do so as long as you can strictly guarantee basic safety.
Throughout this article, we will give you tips on when you can grill on a deck and list why and when you should not. We will also cover the differences between a deck and a porch at the end of the article and see if one is better to grill on than the other.
So read on for more valuable information that may help you protect yourself from fines and hazards.
Is it Safe to Grill on a Deck?
No, it is not safe to grill on a deck. The main reason is that grills produce embers. These embers can be scorching and can easily ignite something close by, such as the wood tiles on your deck.
If you live in an area with many trees around, these embers could also catch the leaves on fire and cause damage to your property (or to someone else’s). The same applies to the grass, especially in the fall when it is dry.
Another concern is that the hose could be punctured if you have a gas grill, causing a gas leak. This could result in an explosion if the gas ignites from the grill or another source. You will lose your deck in the blast, but you may also damage your home.
There are ways to make grilling on a deck less risky, though.
Above all, you must be mindful of the municipal government rules for your area. Do check with local authorities before lighting the pit on the deck.
How to make grilling on a deck less risky:
- Use a grill mat: This will protect your deck from the grill’s heat and catch any falling embers.
- Keep your grill clean: A clean grill is a safe grill. Make sure to clean out the ashes after each use and remove any grease buildup.
- Inspect your grill regularly: Check for any gas leaks, frayed wires, or other damage.
- Never leave your grill unattended: If you have to leave for even a minute, turn off the gas and extinguish the coals.
- Keep the grill no less than ten feet away: Due to the embers and flames, the grill should be no less than ten feet away from the walls of your home and other objects on and around your deck.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy: Always, when dealing with fire, keep a fire extinguisher close by. A fire can occur at any moment, and the extinguisher should be quickly accessible.
By following these basics safety tips, you can reduce the hazards of grilling on a deck. Just be sure to abide by the rule of the law, to use your common sense, and to be mindful of your surroundings and the risks that this not-so-harmless hobby creates for them.
What Does the Federal Government Say About Grilling on a Deck?
It is no secret that grilling is a popular outdoor cooking method and that many people enjoy grilling on their decks. But what does the federal government have to say about it?
The Department of Fire Services says that grilling on a deck is not recommended, plain and simple.
They cite the following reasons, which are hard to argue with:
- There is a risk of fire spreading from the grill to the deck and possibly to the home;
- The risk of carbon monoxide buildup can occur if the grill is not adequately ventilated;
- If people trip over the grill or fall off the deck while cooking, there is a risk of injury.
So, while grilling on a deck may be convenient, in the eyes of the federal government, it is not worth the risk. They say it’s better to be safe than sorry!
The fines can tear a hole in the pocketbook, and the damage caused by an unwanted accident can cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars should something terrible happen.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Grilling on a Deck
Most people love grilling, but did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death from fires?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly. It’s produced whenever anything burns, including charcoal, wood, gas, or oil.
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any doors or windows when grilling on a deck. If you can’t avoid grilling near a door or window, open it to help ventilate the area and prevent CO buildup.
Never use a charcoal grill indoors, even in a garage or carport. The risk of CO poisoning is just too significant. If you suspect someone has been poisoned by CO, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. If the grill is left untreated, CO poisoning can lead to loss of consciousness and death. Don’t take chances with your safety; grill safely on the deck this grilling season!
Porches vs. Decks for Grilling
Now that we have covered the risks associated with grilling on a deck, let’s look at the differences between grilling on porches and grilling on decks.
A porch, as every American homeowner knows, is a structure attached to the side of a house. Porches are typically enclosed with screens or windows to keep bugs out. Many have enclosed roofs overhead, and some have sunroofs that are opened to let the sunlight shine down.
A deck is a standalone structure that is not generally attached to the house. Decks can be made from wood, composite materials, or concrete. Most decks are added to the property and may have a small space between the deck and the home. Some can be considered a porch, but decks are not usually covered.
So, which is better for grilling?
Porches are typically smaller than decks—and may not have enough space to accommodate a grill and all of your cooking accessories. Plus, if the porch is enclosed, there may not be enough ventilation for the grill.
On the other hand, decks are typically larger and have more space for a grill and all of your cooking supplies. Plus, since they are not attached to the house, there is less risk of fire spreading to the home if something goes wrong.
Summing It Up
So, while both porches and decks have pros and cons, it’s generally safer to grill on a deck. Always be courteous to your neighbors and maybe invite them over for some good ol’ BBQ if they are interested.
We don’t wish to put a damper on delivering the facts about grilling on a deck. We want you, your family, and your neighbors to stay safe.