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Grill and Cooking Equipment Safety

Barbecue Grills & Other Outdoor Cooking

  • Grills and other open-flame cooking equipment may only be used outside and may NOT be set up under any overhang, in a tent, or on any balcony or rooftop.
  • Grills and open flame cooking equipment must be set up on level ground at least 6 feet from walkways and 25 feet from buildings.
  • Equipment must be set up so smoke from cooking does not enter any buildings.
  • Charcoal must be completely extinguished and cold before disposal and must not be dumped onto the ground.
  • For grills and barbecues, a minimum of (1) 5 pound ABC extinguisher must be present. To borrow extinguishers, contact Wayne Westmiller at or (607) 592-8535. Never remove extinguishers from buildings.
  • Portable propane and natural gas tanks must be properly secured to prevent them from tipping over and tanks may not be brought into University buildings.
  • Applicable City of Ithaca commercial cooking and LPG (propane) permits must be secured before the event begins.  Contact the Ithaca Fire Department (607) 272-1234 for more information.
  • An Open Burn Permit is NOT required for barbecue grill use.

Indoor Cooking & Food Reheating

  • Indoor cooking may only be done in kitchens and kitchenettes.
  • Use of deep fryers and other cooking equipment that generates grease-laden vapors is restricted to kitchens equipped with the appropriate ventilation hood & suppression systems.
  • Warming equipment used to reheat or keep prepared foods warm may be used in areas other than kitchens, provided that:
    • Warming equipment may not be placed in corridors, stairways or exit pathways.
    • All equipment must be UL listed. Refer to the EHS Event Management Electrical Safety document for further information on using electrical equipment.
      • the Sterno is in commercially manufactured, prepackaged cans
      • is used with a chafing dish equipped with a Sterno can holder
      • is kept away from combustible items such as napkins, papers & decorations
      • care is taken to not spill the Sterno

All cooking and heating appliance shall be used and maintained in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

More Information

For further information e-mail or call 607-255-8200.