Board puts off barbecue ban for apartments

Apartment dwellers need not throw out their Fourth of July barbecue plans just yet.

At an emergency meeting Friday in Spokane, the Washington State Building Code Council deferred the decision to a technical advisory group, said Bill Minks, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue public safety supervisor. The group is a standing committee of professionals such as fire marshals and building inspectors.

For now, balcony barbecues are OK as long as the apartment building’s rules permit, Minks said.

Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen, who serves on the BCC, said the advisory group will study the issue, then make a recommendation to the BCC. The state legislature has the final say. Public hearings also will be held.

The advisory group is expected to have a recommendation by the end of the year, Endresen said.

The ban covers open-fire cooking devices such as charcoal grills and gas containers that hold more than one pound. If the ban goes through, charcoal grills could only be used on balconies that have a built-in sprinkler system. Gas cooking devices would be illegal except for one- or two-family dwellings.

The ban was part of the International Fire Code the state recently adopted.

The BCC also deferred another issue to a technical advisory group, Endresen said. Also deferred was whether or not live Christmas trees can be used in assembly areas that did not have sprinkler systems.

“This one we did catch in time,” Endresen said.

The code banned live Christmas trees in assembly areas — such as churches — that didn’t have built-in sprinklers.

Endresen has been on the BCC for three years.

For more information about fire safety, call Minks at (360) 447-3630.

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