How Far Should Grill Be From 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. So how far should grill be from house when cooking? 

how far should grill be from house
how far grill from house

It makes intuitive sense that grilling too 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 quite a few reasons why you should make sure you’re keeping a hot grill at a safe distance from your house when grilling.

Air Space

First and foremost, a grill needs to have a proper amount of air space so it can properly 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 of 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 worst-case scenario, your siding or house could catch fire if things get out of hand. We always recommend having a fire extinguisher nearby just like you would indoor cooktops and indoor grills.


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 could cause smoke damage to your home over time.

Charcoal grills, pellet grills, and gas grills alike all create enough smoke that can cause damage.

How Far Should 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?

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.

Gas Grill – How Far Should Grill Be From House?

A gas grill should be a minimum of 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.

Keep grills at a safe distance from deck railings as well. It’s important to follow the guidelines as you would for a home the same as for railings.

If you’re looking for a cover to keep the 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.

Another area to watch is under trees. Make sure there are no overhanging branches that could catch fire.

How far away should a grill be from vinyl siding?

Follow the recommendations stated by grill manufacturers is a minimum of 3 feet away from vinyl siding or any siding. The CPSC will recommend 10 feet at a minimum. The heat from a gas grill can damage paint and siding. For more information on gas grill safety, refer to the CPSC gas grill fact sheet .

Although you may store your gas grill in a shed, the garage, or indoors off-season, the propane or natural gas tank should be disconnected and stored outdoors .

What’s the Minimum Distance from Charcoal Grill to House?

The safety precautions for a gas grill apply to a charcoal grill as well. Stick within the minimum 3 feet rule of the manufacturer or like the CPSC advises, stick with at least 10 feet.

Charcoal Grill Tips

Additionally, smoke and carbon monoxide are concerns. Charcoal grill safety is very important. Excellent ventilation is required as burning charcoal emits carbon monoxide. The smoke from a charcoal grill needs ventilation as well. or from grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockages. Clean the grease trap every time you grill. Use only charcoal starter fluid. Gasoline and kerosene should not be used to start a fire in a grill. Never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals. Doing so may cause a flash fire and result in serious burn injuries.

What About Grilling In My Garage?

Never, never ever grill in your garage.  In addition to all of the risks outlined above, carbon monoxide poisoning can and will build up and potentially be quite dangerous to you.  It is important that you grill in a well-ventilated area, and a garage does not meet that standard. 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 the use of your grill.

On a similar note, you should never cook with an outdoor grill indoors.  If you are tempted to grill indoors, you should look into an indoor grill or use a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. 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!  Grill safety should always come first.

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!