Neighbor wants to call fire marshall for brewing

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BeantownR6

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im really pissed!

first a little background, i have a 2 keggle set up for 10 gallon batches i do out infront of my garage, which faces an alley comprised of apartment complexes, my building is a 4 apartment house, which is typical for the alley. ive been brewing for 2 years with no problems out of my gagrage. about a year ago this ******* neighbor in his 60's (i think) moves in right next to me on the second floor, we share a small balcony, he is a horder, his garage is full of crap, has 5 POS vehices he parks all over the neighborhood and blocks my garage all the time so i have to ask him to move his POS to get into my garage. i am poliete about it, haved asked his several times not to park there. well friday was the last straw, he parking in front of my garage and was not home, and i had to get in! i called the landlord, she said to have it towed, cause she doesn't like him and he has caused other problems with her. so i call the parking enforcement, they come out and at the last second i changed my mind about the tow and had then write him a ticket. i left a note on his door because he was not home and that the next time it won't be a ticket and i will have him towed! later on he took my note, wrote FU on it and out it on my door! this is how a guy in his 60's is supposed to act?

Fast forward to last night (monday night), i find a typed letter on my door basicly saying that using an outdoor cooking device at my garage is illegal and the fire marshal shall be notified and i will be given a citation! also attached was a section from the fire code about outdoor flame devices. i am very familiar with building codes, i am an architect in training lol should have a liecense soon. i did some research and it seems using a grill, outdoor cooker etc with anything more than a 1lb propane container is illegal, unless the building is sprinklered or it is greater than 10' of non-combustible construction. ive been trying to call the fire department to ask some general questions. it seems to me, that unless someone complains, the fire department doesn't go around enforcing this, because we have bbqs on our second floor balcony. I have a small grill on the balcony, and my ******* neighbor puts up this gigantic 3 burner propane grill and a large charcoal grill also on our small balcony, you can see how big an ******* he is. this guy just takes and takes. he also stores other crap between the buildings becuase his garage is piled high with useless junk.

so anyways, my gutt tells me my ******* neighbor put the letter on my door and it was not someone else in the nieghbor hood becasue for 2 years i have not had a problem untill i call the parking enforcemt on this guy for not being home and blocking my garage. i think hes trying to get back at me.

just need to vent, im pissed. i don't want to brew in my kitchen. i think im going to ask him about the letter, since if the fire marshal comes out, none of us are going to have a bbq anymore. im pretty much still going to brew untill im told to stop.

also my landlord is cool with it, and she tells me she had other tennants in other buildings who brew. but i haven't mentioned the letter to her.

I really cant convince myself that someone else who sees me brewing and minding my own business, went and looked up the fire code, typed up this letter and attached it to my door, because they had nothing better to do. what do you guys think? too much of a coincedence if you ask me.
 

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People suck.

But he's retaliating for you calling parking enforcement. As you said, no one enforces the law unless someone complains, both for parking violations and for outdoor cooking.

It sounds like this isn't going to be resolved, unless you and your neighbor can get along. Any chance you could invite him outside for a beer and become friends?
 

Revvy

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also my landlord is cool with it, and she tells me she had other tennants in other buildings who brew. but i haven't mentioned the letter to her.
I would get ahold of her ASAP, tell her what's going on, and get a letter from her as your landlord granting you permission to brew on her property.
Get it notorized if possible.

If there's a hassle and least you can show that she as property owner and landlord lets you brew.

If possible have her mention in the letter that you have been brewing there, with her knowledge for as long as you have been.
 

arnoldk2

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Screw him. Keep brewing. And if he does call the fire marshal take him up to your balcony and show him your neighbors grill. Just remember, as tough as he can make it on you, you too can make it really tough on him. I don't like being this way but I wouldn't let someone dictate to me what I can and can't do with out repercussions.
 
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BeantownR6

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I would get ahold of her ASAP, tell her what's going on, and get a letter from her as your landlord granting you permission to brew on her property.
.
the problem is not with having the landlords permission, the fire code governs and is enforcable by the fire marshall.

it could be him, but if its not then we are both screwed. this sucks.
 
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BeantownR6

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People suck.

But he's retaliating for you calling parking enforcement. As you said, no one enforces the law unless someone complains, both for parking violations and for outdoor cooking.

It sounds like this isn't going to be resolved, unless you and your neighbor can get along. Any chance you could invite him outside for a beer and become friends?
we alwasy got along fine, beside the parking issue. hes a jerk and ive had it, everybody in the neighboor hood doesn't like him. i will discuss this with him tonight, but if it is not him then i don't know what im going to do, keep brewing until told to stop.
 

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Do what Revvy says.... it is called CYA and is something everyone should do when an issue of law arises in their life.

Anything that is on paper, file it and save it forever...or until your ******* neighbor moves.

In the mean time, I'd keep brewing
 

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The first thing you need to do is to check with the loacal fire department and find out if they adopted the code. Not all codes are adopted by the Authorith Having Jurisdiction (your local fire department). It sounds like he did not give you the entire code, because there are usaly a list of exemptions and distances involved. Call your local fire department durring normal business hours and ask for the Fire Marshal or prevention specialist, but any Engine Copnay Captain should be able to answer the question. If you were to get caught and it was against code you would probaly recive a warning and they would inform you of the code. I do not recomend turning this into a large dispute but a lot of cities and Fire Departments have created codes about hoarding (true hoarding). Most Vehicle codes do not allow for parking on a street for more than 72 hours at a time some areas are less.
Hope you can work it out.;)
 

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the problem is not with having the landlords permission, the fire code goverens and is enforcable by the fire marshall.

it could be him, but if its not then we are both screwed. this sucks.
BUT....even if they come out, it doesn't mean they have to write you a citation, does it?

If you have a letter they may just roll their eyes at the whole stupid situation rather than actually enforcing it.....

The other thing I suggest is that you go and get a cheap fire extiquinsher and have it with your gear, that way it shows that you've taken at least a little effort in being "fire safe." Another thing to make them shake their head at the BS of the situation.

What is your other option? Ignore it an HOPE he doesn't call, or take a couple of measures so that if he does call, and they do come out, that it looks like you've dotted all the "I's" and crossed your "T's"

This way you're not standing there with your thump up your ass when they DO show up. (Because more than likely he WILL call, and they WILL be forced to come out.)

They call it "covering your a$$" for a reason....
 

BryceL

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Is there a way that you can somehow just move your burner at least 10' from the building? Maybe measure 10' out directly in front of his door and park it, brew away :mug:

Seriously though, maybe you can just find a nice spot so you are adhering to the fire code...as long as the landlord is cool with it.
 

bmbigda

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my wife works for NFPA, and I had a similar situation 2 years ago when I rented a first floor apt in a building.

whoever wrote that on your door is correct about needing to be 10' from the occupancy. However, there is no "citation" for this. Your landlord is the only person who can have an issue with it, because her insurance will not cover damages caused if they found out she is not enforcing the 10' rule. Building fire codes are not enforced by authorities.

If it truly is your hell bent neighbor behind this, then his only avenue will be to complain to your lanlord that he feels his safety is compromised by your brewing. If he does this, then your lanlord will either ignore him or ask you to stop.
 

Revvy

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If it truly is your hell bent neighbor behind this, then his only avenue will be to complain to your lanlord that he feels his safety is compromised by your brewing. If he does this, then your lanlord will either ignore him or ask you to stop.
And if he has a letter from the landlord it kind of shows him what side of the dispute she is on.
 

Taypo

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Call the Fire Marshal, Redondo Beach belongs to a guy named Rappaport. (310) 318-0663, option 7. If he's anything like the Fire Marshals I deal with at work, he's got about a million other things to worry about and will probably tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to to avoid a hassle.
 

Revvy

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Call the Fire Marshal, Redondo Beach belongs to a guy named Rappaport. (310) 318-0663, option 7. If he's anything like the Fire Marshals I deal with at work, he's got about a million other things to worry about and will probably tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to to avoid a hassle.
Jesus this forum can be amazing sometimes......:tank:
 

aomagman78

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Clarify, the fire code says you have to be 10' away from combustible construction, can't you just move 10' away? I would call the fire dept and find out the rules exactly and find a way to follow them. Then if they call the fire marshall...you're fine. What's the trouble in that?
 

Taypo

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Jesus this forum can be amazing sometimes......:tank:
Aint that the truth? I work with fire alarm/sprinkler technicians across the country, so very rarely does what I do come in handy outside of work.

Every now and again though...

:rockin:
 

bmbigda

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That code may not even apply to your building. I'm waiting to hear back from a professional. Do you know the total occupancy of the building? (number of bedrooms)
 

Taypo

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There's a huge difference between NFPA standards (if you're looking at NFPA 101, especially) and what he may be dealing with locally, as I'm sure you're aware. Unless you're waiting on a call back from someone who deals with the local fire code, you may be wasting your time.
 

teal

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I'd move 10 feet away and start a tire on fire just to be a jerk - hey, that's just me.

Best bet is getting something in writing from the fire folks - like someone said - should be a list of exemptions and likely you qualify.

Course you can then ask the obvious question - "If anything larger than a 1lb propane container is illegal - I can obviously just build a wood fire instead. There's NOTHING mentioning that..." I'd guess someone would see the idiocy and just let you be.
 

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The only thing you can do in a situation like this is cover your own a** with paperwork and documentation and see how it plays out. If you're against code, you're against code. A lot of the time it'll depend on the actual fire marshal. Some will let things slide if you're not a complete jerk.. and some are by the book 100%. But if he wants to play that game, do whatever you can to make sure you ARE within code, and call HIM out on everything he does. If he's grilling on his deck, call the fire marshal. If his trash blocks a public egress in any way, call the fire marshal.

It sucks but if he wants to pick a fight with you, sometimes ignoring it won't make it go away.
 
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BeantownR6

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if i move the brew set up 10' from my garage, then it would be set up in the fire lane, where he was parking anyways which is illegal.

This is the code section referenced in the letter:
CFC2011 - 308.1.1 Where prohibited. A person shall not take or utilize an open flame or light in a structure, vessel, boat or other place where highly flammable, combustible or explosive material is utilized or stored. Lighting appliances shall be well-secured in a glass globe and wire mesh cage or a similar approved device.

[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §3.25(a) and (b)] Open Flame Devices.

(a) Open flame devices shall be prohibited in every Group A, E, I, R-2.1, R-3.1 and R-4 occupancy.


Pretty sure my building is an R-2 so the above doesn't apply.

but i found this section right after, this is what im concerned about the the FM comese out.

CFC 2011 - 308.1.4 Open-flame cooking devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
Exceptions:
1. One- and two-family dwellings.
2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 21/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].
 

Gunrunner

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The fire code refers to open flame near a comercial building or a Residential occupancy with 3 or more living units (not bedrooms). NFPA are standars or recomendations and Fire Code is what is adopted and enforced. Someone stated that fire codes are not enforeced and they are wrong. Fire Codes are inforeced by the Authority Having Jursidiction (law enforcement, Fire Department, County officails) it all depends on who has adopted the code. The ONLY thing to do is to call the AHJ (try the fire department) and get the correct information. Beyond that your neighbor is a jerk and this topic has no further discussion till you get clarification from the AHJ.
 
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BeantownR6

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Call the Fire Marshal, Redondo Beach belongs to a guy named Rappaport. (310) 318-0663, option 7. If he's anything like the Fire Marshals I deal with at work, he's got about a million other things to worry about and will probably tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to to avoid a hassle.
haha thats the number ive been calling - no answer
 

teal

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Define "cooking device" - there are recipe books on how to cook off the heat of your engine block while driving. Manifold Destiny so technically it's illegal to use your car in the driveway/garage.

Best bet, imo, it to call the local FD and find out exactly how they view your brew set up.
 

EdWort

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Brewing beer with a turkey fryer is way different than frying a turkey in peanut oil.

When wort boils over, it makes a mess, and can extinguish the flame.

Throw a frozen turkey in hot oil and watch the fireworks and then the garage burn down.

I think your neighbor is making a mountain out of a molehill since you are not boiling anything combustible. His apartment is probably full of code violations if he's a hoarder. He's a fireman's worst nightmare if his place goes up.
 

Taypo

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Try hitting option ZERO - it wont be the FM, but someone WILL answer the phone. Too many people call local FD in emergencies for it to be an unmanned number. Let me know if that works out better for you
 

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Can't we all just get along?

Sorry I couldnt resist. I can't stand stupid neighbors(it's why I have none;))
 

Taypo

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The fire code refers to open flame near a comercial building or a Residential occupancy with 3 or more living units (not bedrooms). NFPA are standars or recomendations and Fire Code is what is adopted and enforced. Someone stated that fire codes are not enforeced and they are wrong. Fire Codes are inforeced by the Authority Having Jursidiction (law enforcement, Fire Department, County officails) it all depends on who has adopted the code. The ONLY thing to do is to call the AHJ (try the fire department) and get the correct information. Beyond that your neighbor is a jerk and this topic has no further discussion till you get clarification from the AHJ.
Fire fighter, are ya?
 
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BeantownR6

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Brewing beer with a turkey fryer is way different than frying a turkey in peanut oil.

When wort boils over, it makes a mess, and can extinguish the flame.

Throw a frozen turkey in hot oil and watch the fireworks and then the garage burn down.

I think your neighbor is making a mountain out of a molehill since you are not boiling anything combustible. His apartment is probably full of code violations if he's a hoarder. He's a fireman's worst nightmare if his place goes up.
yeah true but what this code is preventing is a charcoal fire or a larger propane tank, which could blow up and do lots of damage, hence the 1 lb tank exception, those are the small green coleman fuel.

Try hitting option ZERO - it wont be the FM, but someone WILL answer the phone. Too many people call local FD in emergencies for it to be an unmanned number. Let me know if that works out better for you
tried that too, maybee they are out fighting a fire today.
 

bmbigda

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I'm being told that if the fire marshall or fire department is notified AND the fire marshall/fire department catches you in the act, they will issue a citation to the owner of the building (your landlord). It's your landlords responsibilty to enforce these things, and I wouldn't be surprised if language exists in your lease regarding this.

Seems like these things are building/property oriented, not individual oriented.
 
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BeantownR6

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Someone stated that fire codes are not enforeced and they are wrong. Fire Codes are inforeced by the Authority Having Jursidiction (law enforcement, Fire Department, County officails) .
true, i cant remeber the code section i read this morning but basicly states the fire marshal has the authority to enforce the fire codes.
 

bmbigda

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The fire code refers to open flame near a comercial building or a Residential occupancy with 3 or more living units (not bedrooms). NFPA are standars or recomendations and Fire Code is what is adopted and enforced. Someone stated that fire codes are not enforeced and they are wrong. Fire Codes are inforeced by the Authority Having Jursidiction (law enforcement, Fire Department, County officails) it all depends on who has adopted the code. The ONLY thing to do is to call the AHJ (try the fire department) and get the correct information. Beyond that your neighbor is a jerk and this topic has no further discussion till you get clarification from the AHJ.
Yes I was wrong, they can and are enforced. Also - NFPA 1 is a code adopted by the state of california with requirements. And it contains the open flame regulation you mentioned.

I agree that he needs to call the AHJ above all else.
 

Tinga

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I would look through your lease as well to make sure more laws don't complicate the matter.
 

Gunrunner

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true, i cant remeber the code section i read this morning but basicly states the fire marshal has the authority to enforce the fire codes.
Or anyone that represents them such as all members of the department down to the firefighters. The code is very specific in reguards to open flame secton 308.3 of the CA Fire Code. But you need to look at the exemptions in section 308.1 "Exceptions: Fuel burning elemnets of approved appliances shall not be considered as open flame devices" CA Code of regulations title 19 division 1 section 3.25
 

Gunrunner

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And yes I am a Fire Captain and I am sitting here at work reading the fire code. I must now go and finish my inspections for the day and enforce the fire code.
 

Taypo

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And yes I am a Fire Captain and I am sitting here at work reading the fire code. I must now go and finish my inspections for the day and enforce the fire code.
Good luck. Thanks for the service.
 

kingmatt

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Sounds like it is time to invest in an electric system.
 

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I have not read the whole thread so maybe somebody has offered this already. Call the city government and ask what the regulations are for cooking outside.

I bet you are fine.
 

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