May 05

You can’t afford to look the other way

Well despite the fact that Winter took its sweet time leaving and Spring is still hanging on, Summer is definitely on the way!  That means it will be no time before we are enjoying the warm weather, basking in the sun and cooking outdoors.

Grilling is one of my favourite things to do and when I was a cliff dweller I often felt tempted to break the rules and grill on my balcony.  Back then electric grills did not exist so my options were to risk a balcony fire and offend my neighbors with billowing smoke from my grill.  I never felt comfortable doing either and thankfully it wasn’t long before my apartment days were over.

This brings to light a very interesting liability issue for property managers throughout North America.  Can you really afford to look the other way, while your residents break the rules and grill on their balconies with propane or charcoal?  We all know it happens and we all know it is illegal in most places but sometimes I think we forget just how dangerous this practice is.

Take a look at the stats from the NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Study in 2009 and the report on Home Structure and Outdoor Fires Involving Grills by Marty Ahrens and you will see that propane grill fires cost everyone.

  • $80 million in property damages (2003 – 2006)
  • On average, 10 deaths per year
  • 18,600 patients to emergency rooms in 2007 alone
  • Nearly 8,000 fires between 2003 – 2006

So how do Property Managers combat this problem?  How do urban cliff dwellers balance their desire for grilled food with the rules and regulations surrounding grilling?

Many apartment and condo dwellers may not be aware that electric grills are safe for use on balconies. Because there is no open flame or fire involved, nothing can catch fire, including your food.  No propane tanks are needed because you simply plug the unit into a standard 120 volt electrical outlet.

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Electric grills are the solution to the balcony grilling dilemma.  Give them a try – you will be happy you did.


About the Author


has written 19 blog posts

I am the Brand Manager for the Construction Division at Dimplex.  I am responsible for marketing new products and organizing the activities of our sales force and distributor base throughout North America.