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As Warmer Weather Arrives MCFRS Offers Tips for Use of Fire Pits


The use of fire pits, fire bowls, chimineas and other similar appliances has become popular in our community. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service would like to share with you the criteria for their use.

- You must have permission of the land owner.

-There must be one person at least 18 years of age to assume responsibility for the use of these appliances.

- A permit from the Fire Marshal or the Department of Environmental Protection is NOT required.

- Use in accordance to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Once you purchase this appliance, keep these guidelines in a safe place for future reference.

- Use of fire pits, fire bowls, chimineas and similar portable devices must be at least 20 feet away from any building or structure. Keep a clear area (clear meaning free of anything that can burn) of at least 3 feet in diameter around the appliance. Please remember that mulch can burn so keep your appliance at least 3 feet away from mulch as well.

- Do not use or store fire pits, fire bowls, chimineas or similar devices on a balcony or deck.

- Burn only aged dried wood. The burning of any type of construction material or trash is prohibited.

- Do not use any type of flammable or combustible liquid at any time.

- Have a garden hose connected to a constant water source available and close by.

- Smoke is not allowed to cross property lines. Be mindful of the wind speed prior to starting this type of fire.

- Do not use on Code Orange or Code Red Air Quality days.

- Dispose of all ashes in a safe manner. After 24 hours has passed, all left over hot ashes must be thoroughly dampened, cooled and stored in a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Ashes that are two or three days old may appear to be safe, but can still retain enough heat to cause an unwanted fire. Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag cardboard box or anything that is combustible. Also, be careful in handling partially burned wood. The wood may still be smoldering and cause a serious burn

Keep in mind, that if the Fire Department is contacted and determines your situation to be a fire hazard, the Fire Department can require you to extinguish your fire. If additional questions arise, please call the Office of Fire Code Compliance at 240-777-2457.