Is a Balcony Garden Against the Fire Code?

Posted on May 24 2011 - 2:55am by Mike Lieberman

When I had my fire escape garden in NYC, I knew that it was technically against the fire code (but J-walking is illegal too and no one ever gets busted). Now that I’ve been in LA for over a year, I’ve been told that a balcony garden is against the fire code too.

Last week a building inspector came by and said that it was a fire code to have anything on the balcony. I asked what the name of the code was, so I could research it. He didn’t know, but just said it was an “open zoning” thing.

I find it hard to believe considering people in LA have everything from bikes to barbecues on their balconies. Instead of just saying ok and taking everything down, I called the local fire department to inquire. If it really was a fire hazard, I’d want to remove it.

Some of the local firemen were kind enough to come by my apartment to check out the balcony to see if it was indeed a hazard. After inspecting, they said that it wasn’t

My only other guess is that it could be a building safety code violation, but the inspector said fire code.

Does anyone know anything about this?