How Far Should a Grill Be From the House for Safety?

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So you’ve assembled your new grill and now it’s time to pick a spot on the patio for your glorious outdoor cooker.

But one of the first things you think of is a rather obvious (and good!) question – “How far should a grill be from the house?”.  It makes intuitive sense that grilling to close to your house’s walls or siding is a bad idea, but just how close is too close?

In this article, we’ll provide a clear answer to the question of how far should a grill be away from the house.  We’ll also include some additional safety tips to help set up your outdoor cooking area for success!

Why It’s Important to Grill a Safe Distance From Your House

There are a few quite obvious and a few less obvious reasons as to why you should make sure you’re keeping a safe distance from your house when grilling.

First and foremost, a grill needs to have a proper amount of air space so it can proper ventilate.  Without proper ventilation, you run the risk of gas, carbon monoxide, and/or smoke building up to dangerous levels near your grill.  If buildup happens, the risk of flare ups and dangerous grill fires can increase greatly.

The natural amount heat that comes off of your grill while cooking can also be enough to damage the siding of your house.  Depending on the type of siding on your house, this process might accelerate quicker than you’d think.  In an absolute worse case scenario, your siding or house could catch fire if things get out of hand.

The other more subtle problem with grilling too close to the house is smoke damage.  Smoke coming off of your grill naturally escapes and dissipates into the air.  If it’s too close to a house, or if it’s under an awning that isn’t high enough, you’ll undoubtedly see some smoke damage to your home over time.

And I promise, you don’t want smoke damage around when it’s time to go sell your house or when the landlord comes knocking.

How Far Should a Grill Be From Your House?

So how far should a grill be from the house for safety then?  While each grill manufacturer has their own guidelines, the general consensus is that your grill should be a minimum of 3 feet away from any house walls.

Additionally, your grill should also be placed at least 10 feet away from any objects that are easily flammable or could catch fire from an ignition.

It’s also worth noting that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has guidelines stating that you should place your grill no closer than 10 feet away from any house walls or siding.  This guidance is very much on the conservative side, and the consensus amongst grill manufacturers is that at least 3 feet is safe.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Again, the answer to this question largely depends on your specific grill and what your grill brand’s guidelines say.  With many grills, it is possible to place the back of the grill closer than 3 feet to a wall, as long as there is an abundance of clear space on either side of the grill.  If you have any doubts, reach out to your grill manufacturer.

How Far Should a Gas Grill Be From Your House?

A gas grill should be at minimum 3 feet away from your house or any walls and siding.  No matter which type of grill you have, the 3 foot rule is a good one to abide by.

What About Carports, Awnings, Etc?

You should also not use your grill under carports, awnings, or covered areas unless there is at least 8 feet of space above the grill and also plenty of other ventilation around the grill.  Any closer than that, you run the risk of smoke damage happening to your carport or awning over time.

If you’re looking for a cover to keep rain off of your grill or to provide some shade in the summer months, a BBQ canopy is a viable solution.  These canopies are specifically designed for grilling and have proper ventilation built into the rooftops.

What About My Garage?

Never, never ever grill in your garage.  In addition to all of the risks outlined above, carbon monoxide can and will build up and potentially be quite dangerous to you.  If the weather is bad enough that you’re tempted to move your grill into the garage, don’t do it.  Either invest in a BBQ canopy or postpone use of your grill.

On a similar note, you should never grill in any enclosed area, including the indoors.  It’s too dangerous and not worth the risk.

Final Thoughts

How far a grill should be away from your house is a great question to be asking, and you’re off to a great start by thinking about safety.  The general rule of thumb is to make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from any walls or sidings.

Of course if that distance makes you uncomfortable, then you should move your grill further away!  There’s no problem with that at all and it will make your set up that much safer.

At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure your grill has plenty of airflow and places for smoke and heat to escape.  Pay attention the first few times you grill in a new spot on your patio and make adjustments as needed to optimize your setup.

Looking for more grilling safety tips?  Reach out to us in the comments section below, we’d love to help you!

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