May 25, 2023

Hoboken Fire Department offers grilling safety tips

As Hoboken residents get ready to observe Memorial Day, and welcome the summer season, the Hoboken Public Safety and Fire Departments are reminding all to follow local laws and grilling safety best practices.

“Hoboken has approximately 75 high rises, and dozens more lower rise buildings in our densely populated mile square city,” said Hoboken Fire Marshal Stephen DiVincent. “Any open flame or electric heating device could cause a fire and we want to make sure that we do all we can to protect our community. That is why we are educating the public on proactive preventative measures they can take now to avoid a grill fire.”

Hoboken Fire Chief Anton Peskens and Fire Marshal DiVincent offer the following advice and safety tips, to ensure a safe grilling experience this summer:

  • Only use grills outside.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup to prevent fires.
  • Never leave your grill or any open flame unattended.
  • Never use lighter fluid and only use self-igniting charcoal.
  • Make sure charcoal grill coals are cool before disposing of them.
  • Be courteous to your neighbors and keep smoke to a minimum.
  • Make sure the gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep a portable fire extinguisher within reach whenever grilling.

The Hoboken Fire Department reminds residents of State fire code statues which state:

  1. Portable LP Gas or propane cooking devices and equipment are prohibited inside multi-family dwellings and on any terraces, balconies, or rooftops. They are ONLY allowed outside on the ground floor of buildings.
  2. Only Electric and charcoal grills are permitted on concrete balconies, terraces, or decks.
  3. ALL grills must be set up at least five feet from entrances, overhangs, and any combustible construction.

As a reminder, fire pits are permissible in Hoboken without a permit for private use. However, it is illegal to burn vegetation, only specifically treated wood logs must be used, and flames cannot be more than 3 feet by 2 feet in height. Those using fire pits are asked to do so with caution and be respectful of neighbors, especially those who may have health concerns.

The Hoboken Fire Department will issue violation notices for those who do not abide by the Fire Codes. If the imminent hazard fire code violation is not abated within 24 hours, violators face fines of up to $5,000.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May, and August. The agency reports:

  • 64 percent of U.S. households own at least one outdoor BBQ, grill, or smoker.
  • An average of 10,200 home fires are started by a grill each year.
  • 19,700 patients visit the emergency room with injuries caused from grilling each year.

For more information about grilling safety, please visit the National Fire Protection Association's website at