Incline-area fire agency regulating grills
February 29, 2008
INCLINE VILLAGE – A propane grill that ignited the wooden deck it sat on caused five homes to burn down in last summer’s Washoe fire near Sunnyside on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore.
To prevent the same from happening in Incline Village, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District is embarking on an education campaign to let citizens know about its new ordinances regarding grills.
Propane grills, charcoal grills and all outdoor cooking devices are now prohibited in multiple family dwellings within the fire district, said Fire Marshal Tom Smith.
“The way we look at this is these can be very dangerous not only to the occupants with the grills but to everyone in their building,” Smith said.
The ordinance, which went into effect on Jan. 1, stipulates the new rules and gives a few exceptions.
Smith said charcoal grills are prohibited on decks in front of multiple family dwellings. The only exception is when the entire building has a sprinkler system and that system has sprinkler heads mounted above the decks.
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All propane grills are prohibited under the new ordinance. Smith said natural gas grills are acceptable as long as they are permanently attached to the dwelling and have a permanent natural-gas line running to them. These grills also must have sprinkler systems handy, Smith said.
“Basically we’re targeting anything that is near combustible material,” Smith said.
He said he’ll be contacting apartment and condominium complexes with information on the new ordinances.
Smith said he isn’t expecting total compliance right away but hopes education will help let people know why the ordinances are in effect.
“I imagine (compliance) will be sketchy until everyone understands what we’re doing. Most people will comply once they know why we can’t have grills anymore, and the ones that don’t will be putting their property in danger. I can’t imagine insurance companies will be happy when they know about the ordinances and people in the complexes aren’t complying,” Smith said.
He said citations can be issued for those who don’t comply, but said he doubts they will need to be prodded with a ticket.
“The last thing we want to do is enforce these ordinances. It may take awhile, but most people will come around,” Smith said.