Massachusetts does not require any special permits for the use of outdoor fire pits for cooking or recreation.
There are requirements set forth by the Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P), the Massachusetts MGL. Chapter 148, CMR 1, 527 along with the International Fire Code (IFC).
All fires must be used primarily used for cooking. Some requirements of these are:
1) All fires must be small and manageable, no greater than 3 feet in diameter. By definition, a fire larger than 3 feet in diameter is no longer considered a cooking or recreational fire. (IFC)
2) All fires must be constantly attended. (IFC)
3) It is required to keep a garden hose, fire extinguisher or water bucket available for extinguishment if necessary. (IFC)
4) Fires shall not be within 25 feet of a structure or any combustible material. (IFC)
5) The fire pit should be placed on a flat, noncombustible surface. An area of 25 feet should be cleared around the fire pit in all directions, and clear of all dry vegetation and combustibles. Make sure the fire pit is placed away from other materials that could burn or catch fire, both overhead and to the sides such as building components, tree limbs, sheds, awnings etc. (IFC)
6) Fire pits and recreational fires ARE NOT INCINERATORS. The burning of trash, rubbish, painted or stained wood and construction debris is prohibited by the D.E.P.
7) Do not cause a nuisance or health hazard to your neighbors. Never use wet or damp wood. This creates needless, irritating smoke. Always use dry seasoned wood charcoal, or specialist fuel (e.g. wood burning briquettes or wood pellets. Should the Norton Fire Dept. receive a complaint from a neighbor regarding smoke or the size of the fire, it will be investigated and if necessary, the fire will be extinguished by the homeowner or the NFD.
8) Never use an accelerant to light any fire. The fumes from an accelerant may flash and cause a person to receive burns requiring medical treatment.
· Burning is not allowed on the Reservoir Islands or other town properties without a special permit.
· 527 CMR – 10.10.2 – The AHJ has the authority at anytime to prohibit any and all open fires, candles etc.
· Failure to follow rules and regulations may be cause for verbal warning or a citation with fines up $1000.00.
If you have any further questions please contact the Norton Fire Departments, Office of Fire Prevention at (508)285-0243
We do plan reviews for residential and commercial buildings as well as fossil fuel home inspections
Effective June 15, 2020, we will be going out to inspect homes for 26F, 26 F 1/2 and 26B inspections. Please use the link below to apply and pay for your inspection.
All inspections are now online. You can pay and book your inspections right from your home. Please click here for online permitting and follow the prompts. For current Massachusetts detector codes, please click here.
Our department will work with all new commercial construction sites to have fire alarm system installed as well as sprinkler coverage meeting Massachusetts codes.