Rules for gas grills in Boston

Because I am from Boston and insure condominiums, I get this question all the time.

Can we have a grill in our condominium?

According to the city of Boston Article (1) section 1.05(b)


city of Boston reference site: Click here

I hear that the enforcement of the rule is much like jaywalking. It is illegal, but everyone does it.

Comment from a condo unit owner in Boston

” I know that grills are illegal, but every warm summer night, my deck on my condo is smothered in the scent of burning and smoking meat. I don’t eat meat and I know it is illegal, what do I do”?


The question is what does the insurer do? Can they deny a claim because it is illegal?

Does your insurance policy specifically exclude the use of grills?

The answer is yes and no. Of course it is.

You can be denied coverage for intentional acts.

condo grill fireBut most basic condo association policies do not exclude the use of charcoal or gas grills. BUT you need to read your policy and ask your insurer. special endorsements, exclusions and warrants are added all the time. Also check that you were not warned of the hazard and recommended to stop using grills. If you were and you signed off that you would comply, then watch out!

Also, check your by laws and deed. You may be already be in violation of your by-laws. I own 2 condo’s. One I can have a grill and one I cannot.

Remember: Safety First!!



One comment

  1. David W. D. Haynes says:

    All cities/towns have some sort of fire ordinance/law addressing grills. Whether it is the distance they must be from a building or, in some towns, the time they may be used. Though no one wants to be the “bad” guy telling a fellow unit owner that they can not grill on the roof, a simple reminder such as a printout of the local law to each unit owner every spring should help. Additionally, those with roof top access or decks large enough for grills should be reminded. Most by-laws should have a regulation included which tells each unit owner they must comply with local fire laws. As a unit owner myself, I wish I could grill, but I know the law is against me. It is for the common good, such as DON’T GRILL indoors. Or don’t use generators indoors. But each year there are dozens of claims of people doing just that. Find out of the association can set up a common grill that complies with the fire laws. Difficult, but not impossible, in Boston.

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