Outdoor Fireplace and Chiminea Safety

*The following information does not pertain to any area on the beach

With more people using outdoor fireplaces and chimineas than ever before, it is important to always remember that anytime you work with fire, there is a chance of losing control of it, or getting burned. Keep safety in mind when setting up, using, and cleaning up after any outdoor fire.

fireplaceLegal Considerations

Under current NJ State Fire Code, the use of outdoor fireplaces and chimineas are legal for use in single family dwellings. They are prohibited in multi-family properties that are 3 stories or more in height. Even though these devices are legal, there are certain restrictions that apply to their use.

These restrictions include:

  • Any situation where the smoke from one of these devices is objectionable or offensive to the community.
  • Using one of these devices for the disposal of waste or trash.
  • The use of one of these devices when it is left unattended for any period   of time.
  • The use of one of these devices in a manner that is contrary to its intended use or manufacturer’s instructions.

General Safetyfirepit

In addition to code requirements, if you plan to use outdoor fireplaces and chimineas, you should be aware of the general fire safety precautions for these devices.

These practices include:

  • DO NOT use any of these outdoor devices inside your home.
  • These units are not intended as a primary heating source.
  • Locate the device at least fifteen (15) feet away from any structure or overhang. Never use on any porch or balcony.
  • Maintaining five (5) feet of clearance from any combustible material or item.
  • Do not use during a high wind condition.
  • Using some type of non-combustible surface underneath to catch sparks, dropping coals, embers or ashes. i.e. a metal drop pan.
  • Never use gasoline, kerosene, starter fluids or any other substance that may create a rapid build-up of fire.
  • Properly dispose of the ashes once the fire is out. Allow them to cool for 48 hours before disposing, otherwise douse with plenty of water and NEVER place them in plastic, paper, or wooden containers, only metal.
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