November 9, 2022

Fire Pit Safety Tips Offered by the Department of Permitting Services

Fire Pit Safety Tips Offered by the Department of Permitting Services

Cooler weather often spurs cozy gatherings around the fire pit during the fall season.

The Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) website features safety tips for those who will be using fire pits, fire bowls and chimineas. It is important to utilize the devices in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance, and to make sure at least one adult is supervising.

Fire pits and similar devices should be located at least 10 feet away from a home. It is important to keep a clear area of three feet in diameter around the fire pit. Mulch can catch fire quickly, so be sure and keep the fire pit at least three feet away from any nearby mulch.

The DPS fire code compliance team recommends that the devices should not be used on balconies or decks. DPS advises to burn only aged, dried wood and to not use any type of flammable or combustible liquids in the fire. A garden house or water source should always be nearby and users should be mindful of the wind speed before starting a fire.

When the evening around the fire pit concludes, dispose of all ashes in a safe manner. After 24 hours have passed, all hot ashes must be thoroughly dampened, cooled and stored in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used solely for ash storage. Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag, cardboard box or anything that is combustible.

More information about the use of fire pits is available by contacting the Office of Fire Code Compliance at 3-1-1 (in Montgomery County) or 240-777-0311 (outside the County limits).