Use of Portable Propane Gas Heating Equipment Regulations


Use of Portable Propane Fuel Gas Heating Equipment for Licensed Establishments

The City of Cambridge has implemented a program for the use of portable propane fuel gas heating equipment. This program is aimed toward supporting local businesses that incorporate outside seating in conformance with their licensing from the Cambridge License Commission.

The following only applies for patio heaters utilizing portable propane fuel gas. Hard piped natural gas or electric heaters are subject to the Cambridge Inspectional Services requirements. This does not apply to any portable cooking appliances.

All provisions of Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code, with special attention to the attached sections 10.10.1 through 10.10.2, through, 10.10.7, 10.10.10, through and through, shall be adhered to.

Permits for use and storage shall be in accordance with the attached sections 69.1.2 and and in consultation with the Fire Prevention Bureau. Properties that have existing fire department issued flammable storage permits will be able to include propane amounts on those permits and not require an additional permit. Permits shall be considered surrendered and revoked immediately as determined by the Fire Official and/or License Commission. Violation notices will be at the discretion of the Fire Official.

In addition to the above, heaters shall be:

  1. Used with permission from the building/land owner,

  2. Used within the dates of September 1 and May 31,

  3. In consultation with the local business association,

  4. Used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions,

  5. Listed and labeled for use as a commercial grade patio heater,

  6. Equipped with electronic ignition,

  7. Secured to prevent being knocked over,

  8. Located as to not obstruct any ingress or egress,

  9. Located at mean grade.

In addition to the above, the portable propane fuel gas shall be:

  • Stored in the base of the heater in lieu of a pre-determined area.

In addition to the above, personnel charged with being responsible for the heaters will be required to successfully pass and thereafter keep current, the Massachusetts Approved Crowd Manager Training Program    


For any questions, contact Fire Prevention at:

or 617-349-4918