October is Fire Safety Month. The Fire Marshal’s office will be sharing safety reminders throughout the month to increase public awareness and cooperation. Recreational outdoor fires are increasingly popular so we will begin with guidelines for conducting outdoor fires that are safe and do not create a neighborhood nuisance.
What is considered a recreation fire?
A recreational fire is an outdoor fire not contained in an enclosed structure. A backyard fire pit is the most common example of a recreational fire. Recreational fires are a privilege and are allowed at the discretion of the Fire Marshal provided the following guidelines are met. An inspection by the Fire Marshal is recommended before burning for the first time. Contact the Office of the Fire Marshal with questions at 340-8643.
How to safely conduct an outdoor recreational fire:
FIRE SAFETY must be followed at all times.
Clearance: Fires must be located at least 25 feet from structures and/or combustible materials, including but not limited to fences, decks, sheds, garages, brush, overhanging trees. Any conditions that would promote fire spread to within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material must be removed prior to ignition of fire.
Portable Outdoor Fireplaces made of metal, clay, ceramic and other like materials must follow all above guidelines except they are allowed to be placed at least 15 feet (rather than 25 feet) from structures and/or combustible materials. They must also be completely extinguished prior to abandoning.
Surface: Fires must be conducted on non-combustible surfaces.
Size: maximum diameter of three (3) feet, maximum flame height of two (2) feet
Materials: ONLY clean seasoned firewood may be burned. Wet wood, fresh cut wood, treated wood, painted or stained wood, leaves, brush (small branches with leaves or needles still attached), lawn clippings, paper, rubbish, garbage and/or any other material that produces excessive smoke and/or noxious fumes ARE NOT ALLOWED to be burned.
Extinguishment: Fire extinguishing equipment such as garden hose (attached to water supply and turned on), buckets of water and/or a minimum 4A rated portable fire extinguisher must be readily available at all times while fire is burning. Equipment must be located in close proximity to the fire and garden hoses must be able to reach fire while still connected to a water supply. FIRE MUST BE COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED PRIOR TO ABANDONING. NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED!
Attendance: A responsible adult must be present at all times a fire is burning. The responsible adult must not be impaired by drugs, alcohol and/or a medical or mental condition that would interfere with their ability to take proper actions, if required. The responsible adult must also be knowledgeable in the operation of fire extinguishing equipment.
Nuisance fires and etiquette
Outdoor fires that create smoke and/or odors are considered a nuisance. Nuisance fires MUST be extinguished immediately.
A recreational fire that creates property damage, personal injury, and/or is deemed a nuisance, must be extinguished immediately and may be cause for legal actions by the Fire Marshal or the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Any fire causing the fire department or Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to be called may be considered by the responding official to be a nuisance fire. Nuisance fires must be extinguished.
Etiquette: No new materials may be added to fire after 10:00 PM.
Please direct questions or concerns to the Office of the Fire Marshal at (585) 340-8643 or FireMarshal@penfield.org