Barbecue: rules, regulations, hassles … do you really know all the rules?


With the arrival of summer, barbecues multiply in the city and in the countryside. While no law regulates the use of this cooking method, there are rules and standards that are sometimes unknown to users. From the purchase to the possible neighborhood conflict, let’s take stock.

The sun is shining, the temperatures are summer … and the scent of the barbecue is back. The French are unconditional fans of this cooking method. Over 70% have one or a similar type of plancha device. But whether you live in the city or in the countryside, there are a few rules to know before starting a fire.

The first thing to know is that in France there are no legal restrictions on the use of barbecues, both in rural and urban areas, even if you live in an apartment, like the official website.

Legislation: a rule and exceptions

No legal and general prohibition, of course, but two types of regulations can still limit you in the use of a barbecue:

  • Your co-ownership or rental policywhich may specify the prohibition of certain types of barbecues, or of all methods of cooking outdoors, whether they are a gas or electric appliance or a plancha.
  • Prefectural or municipal decree, to prohibit the use of a device that uses flames on the scale of a department or city. These decrees are very often adopted for limited periods, during periods of drought or strong wind, and mainly concern areas located less than 200 m from a wooded area.
  • Public space rules

What standards for barbecues?

Be careful if you are a fan of the salvaged half-rod turned into a competition barbecue. Mobile barbecues must comply with the D 37-101 standard, which guarantees their stability and solidity. They must therefore also carry the NF or CE standard to match the safety standards in France and Europe.

If you decide to build a stationary barbecue yourself, keep in mind that it must absolutely be subject to building permit filing if it is more than 1.50 m high and has a ground dimension greater than 5 m².

Neighborhood: what risk in the face of annoyances?

Everyone can agree, it is not pleasant to find yourself invaded by the smoke of the neighbor’s barbecue after having just hung the laundry in the garden. But what does the neighborhood nuisance law say?

“The intensive use of the barbecue for long periods can be an anomalous disturbance in the neighborhood,” the site specifies But the actor will have to provide proof of the annoyances, which may involve, for example, a blackening of the wall or ash protrusions.

To grant the qualifier of “abnormal neighborhood disturbance”, justice is based on several criteria: the frequency of the disturbance and its duration, its intensity, the time of day when it occurs, the place where it occurs (in or rural area, in a commercial or residential area) and compliance with current regulations.

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