Grill Safely and Obey These Laws, Says Hoboken Fire Department

HOBOKEN, NJ – The Hoboken Fire Department wanted to remind residents to grill safely this Memorial Day weekend and all summer long, to avoid tragedy.

Below is a statement from the department, along with a graphic with safety tips.

The Hoboken Fire Department offers grilling safety tips ahead of the summer barbecue season:

As Hoboken residents prepare to observe Memorial Day and welcome the summer season, the Hoboken Public Safety and Fire Department reminds everyone to follow local laws and grilling safety best practices.

“Hoboken has approximately 75 high-rise buildings and dozens more low-rise buildings in our densely populated one-square-mile city,” Hoboken Fire Marshal Stephen DiVincent said. “Any open flame or electric heater could cause a fire and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect our community. That’s why we’re educating the public about the proactive preventative steps they can take right now to avoid a barbecue fire.

Hoboken Fire Chief Anton Peskens and Fire Marshal DiVincent offer the following safety tips and advice, to ensure a safe grilling experience this summer:

• Only use grills outdoors.
• Keep children and pets away from cooking area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease and grease buildup to prevent fires.
• Never leave your grill or any other open flame unattended.
• Never use lighter fluid and only use self-igniting charcoal.
• Make sure charcoal grill coals are cool before disposal.
• Be courteous to your neighbors and keep smoke to a minimum.
• Make sure gas grill lid is open before lighting.
• Keep a portable fire extinguisher handy when grilling.

The Hoboken Fire Department reminds residents of the state fire code statutes which state:

1. Portable LPG or propane cooking appliances and equipment are prohibited inside
family homes and on all terraces, balconies or roofs. They are ONLY allowed outside on the ground floor of buildings.
2. Only electric and charcoal grills are permitted on concrete balconies, patios or decks.
3. ALL grills should be installed at least five feet from entrances, overhangs and any
combustible construction.

As a reminder, fire pits are permitted in Hoboken without a permit for private use. However, it is illegal to burn vegetation, only specifically treated wood logs should be used, and flames cannot exceed 3 feet by 2 feet in height. Those using fire pits are urged to do so with caution and respect neighbors, especially those who may have health issues.
The Hoboken Fire Department will issue notices of violation for those who do not follow fire codes. If the imminent hazard fire code violation is not reduced within 24 hours, violators face fines of up to $5,000.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says July is the peak month for barbecue fires, followed by June, May and August. The agency reports:

• 64% of US households have at least one outdoor barbecue, grill or smoker.
• On average, 10,200 residential fires are started by a grill each year.
• 19,700 patients visit the emergency room with injuries from grilling each year.

For more information on grilling safety, please visit the National Fire Protection Association website.
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