Everyone loves a good fire pit – and for good reason. They turn any social gathering up a notch and provide hours of warmth and beauty to you, your family, and your guests. But burning laws can vary from state to state and even city to city. How can you make sure you’re well informed about outdoor fire pit laws? Below, I’m working on a list of outdoor fire pit laws by state. You can make sure your family gathering won’t have a surprise visit by the police!
Please note: This is no substitute for legal advice. I am not a lawyer!
Alabama Outdoor Fire Pit Laws
Alabama is a very lax state for fire pit laws. Your local ordinances may say differently, but the good people of Alabama can rest easy knowing that they won’t get in trouble in most cases for burning a fire pit. The exceptions:
- Do not burn when the National Weather Service has a “Red Flag” warning.
- Do not burn if the governor has issued a Drought Emergency.
California Outdoor Fire Pit Laws
Of course, each city in California has their own local ordinances and restrictions. However, California does have some statewide regulations (pdf) to be made aware of.
One particular section of note:
308.3.1 — Open-flame cooking devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
- One- and two-family dwellings.
- Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
There are other specifics, but I’d simply recommend giving the regulations a skim.
More information for California
Kentucky Outdoor Fire Pit Laws
Kentucky is a very lax state when it comes to fire pit laws. There may be city ordinances, but as long as you follow some very simple rules put forth by the state, you should be in the clear. Those rules are:
- Don’t burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brush-land between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m during fire seasons.
- Do not burn garbage or any other materials besides natural plant matter (such as brush and wooded debris).
Massachusetts Outdoor Fire Pit Laws
Massachusetts fire pit laws are among the strictest in the nation. In fact, fire pits fall under the general MassDEP burning regulations. These regulations are the same for fire pits as they are for bon fires! And many places require you to get a permit before burning anything at all.
However, there are special exceptions made for outdoor cooking fire pits. If you’re making some food, you might be in the clear. There are still guidelines you must abide by though. For instance, the fire pit must be:
- Kept to a reasonable size;
- Located away from combustible materials;
- Contained in a non-flammable enclosure; and
- Tended by someone who is 18 years of age or older.
If I were you, I’d read the full breadth of Massachusetts outdoor fire pit laws. There are far too many edge cases to count!
More Information for Massachusetts