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Grilling and City Ordinance

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Jennifer Frey in Uncategorized

Did you know Lincoln has a city Ordinance on grills?

Due to the risk of fire, Lincoln has a specific ordinance in regard to the use of a charcoal and gas grills at multi-family buildings. (Multi-family buildings refers to any building with 3 or more dwellings.) This ordinance explains that you CANNOT operate these grills within 10 feet of the building. This means no grilling on your patio or balcony. This ordinance also specifies if/where you can store your grill with regard to a deck or patio. If a complaint is submitted, you may be subject to a violation and fine. It would seem as though this ordinance is hard to enforce based on the visual of grills on patios and balconies of apartments all over Lincoln, however we recommend you follow the ordinance. This recommendation comes from the desire to protect you from violations and fines, as well as fire hazards for you, your neighbors, and your apartment building.



The ordinance states, ” 308.3.1 Open-flame cooking devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction. Exceptions: 1. One- and two-family dwellings. 2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system. 308.3.1.1 Liquefied-petroleum-gas-fueled cooking devices. LP-gas burners having an LP-gas container with a water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity] shall not be located on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction. Exception: One- and two-family dwellings.”

You can find that ordinance here; https://lincoln.ne.gov/city/fire/pdf/06code.pdf 


  1. Jean W Newell on said:

    I live in a multi family apartment at Black Sands and have been informed I can not use an electric grill. I brought the grill due to the ban of charcoal and gas grills, The fire does not appear to ban electric grill?

    • Jennifer FreyJennifer Frey on said:

      Thank you for your question and reading our blog. To our knowledge and understanding of the ordinance, the ban does not include electric grills. We reached out to a local fire inspector, but haven’t heard back as to a response yet. When we do receive a response, we will be sure to update you. We recommend you check with a local Fire Inspector. They can be reached at 402-441-7363.

      • Jennifer FreyJennifer Frey on said:

        We did hear back from the Fire Inspector and the city ordinance allows the use of electric grills on apartment balconies as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions of use.

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