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Alfresco Areas

Hi, you have come to this page of our website, probably confused as to what BBQ can be used in an area that is 'enclosed' or say less than 55% open, remember that when you have an area like this, it comes under the same regulations as an area that is completely enclosed!

Alfresco areas are getting very popular in houses now both new and old, but like most appliances, "outdoor" Barbeques used in these areas do have certain legal restrictions. The information below should help clarify some of these concerns.

There are very important points that should be considered when using a Barbeque in your Alfresco area:

  • The minimum requirements *are that the area must have at least 2 sides / walls permanently open, ie no cafe blinds!
  • 55% of the area MUST be PERMANENTLY open to the elements
  • The reason for this is that the Barbeque, whether LPG (bottle) or mains must have plenty of ventilation in the event of a leak or smoke/fat build up. These Cafe Blinds block the sides, create a room and the BBQ that is designed for outdoors only is now indoors!


Indoor Barbeques that run on Natural (mains) Gas have safety devices ( flame failure), that do not allow the gas to flow without being lit, i.e. if the flame goes out the Gas cuts off as well. They are a lot more expensive, and can be up to three to four times the cost of an outdoor BBQ and require commercial-type extractors to remove the smoke and fat from the room, like you see in commercial kitchens in restaurants. These extractors for BBQs start at about $2500-$3000. They have to have a capacity to remove the smoke and fat particals from the room at a minimum rate of 2000 cubic metres per hour and have filters that must be cleaned regularly. Most commercial kitchen companies supply Commercial Grills / Barbeques as well as Extractors.

Additional regulations now apply to Barbeques that are approved for indoor use. e.g. the extractor must be set up that the BBQ will only work when the extractor is on (this is an additional cost that should be considered and only applies to 'Indoor approved' Barbeques. An extractor is NOT required if the area is 55% open and an 'Outdoor BBQ' is installed. In this case some customers only put them in as additional venting.

Note: A Barbeque that has flame-failure fitted does not necessarily mean it can be used indoors, it has to be "approved" to be used indoors. A Sticker stating Outdoors Only means only for use outdoors. It is is approved for INDOOR USE it will have a sticker on it to say so.

As a duty of care to all consumers and for their safety, it is a requirement of any Licensed Gas fitter / technician to report any areas, using barbeques, that do not conform to current regulations.

Having an barbeque designed for outdoors in an area that is "fully enclosed" may affect your house insurance should an incident occur and your BBQ Warranty!

If you are not sure if your area meets these requirements or you need advice before buying your new Barbeque, ring us, we are here to help. We will ensure that not only your "Alfresco" complies but that your family and home are safe. We do charge a consulting fee for "at home" visits, but for your peace of mind it is well worth it!

7/2/2018 - Update....I had an email from a customer a few days ago reminding me that all BBQ's must adhere to the manufacturers instructions about being certain distances away from non combustible materials. Materials such as Plastic, timber and even some recostituted benchtops such as ceaserstone may not be non combustible. Brick, Concrete, Marble, granite, stainless steel, tiles and Hardie sheeting are some of the best (non-combustible) products for use around or under a BBQ. Please make sure that you check first.

*(All these requirements are listed in the Western Australian Energy Safety web site and only apply to WA., Check with your local Gas supplier if you are in another state or country).

More information is available here for those living in Western Australia:



Barbitec accepts no reponsibility if the information given above is incorrect or not up to date. Rules and regulations change constantly and whilst we endeavour to give correct information, sometimes certain information can be misleading or inaccurate. Contact should therefore be made at your individual States Energy Safety local government department if at all in doubt about any information given to you.  

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