Outdoor Burning

General Rule:

The general rule was that no burning was permitted within the city except for fires used for cooking. In 2006, we noticed local department and hardware stores selling outdoor fire pits and patio fireplaces. Depending on the situation, the question, “Is burning permitted if I live in the city?” is no longer a simple “No”.

Outdoor burning memo from the Fire Marshal's Office

Fire Prevention Code:

In 2007, the Fire Prevention Code was updated and the issue of open burning within the City of Hagerstown was updated to address the increasing use of outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and similar devices. The following was adopted in Section 7: Chapter 98 of the code of the City of Hagerstown, §98-4 reads:

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to burn or to permit any other person to burn on his property any fires or combustible material within the city limits of Hagerstown, except as may be provided for by other provisions of this code not inconsistent within.
  • Nothing in this regulation shall prohibited the those outdoor fires utilized for cooking purposes provided that the fire is located in an approved grill, barbecue or other approved cooking appliance, and is not being utilized in a manner violating other applicable fire regulations.
  • Nothing in this regulation shall prohibit the use of approved, self-contained patio-style stoves or similar devices provided the device is used in accordance with all manufacturer’s specifications and requirements, and is not being utilized in a manner violating other applicable fire regulations.
  • Approved grills, barbecues or other approved appliances shall be maintained in good condition and operated as directed in a manner consistent with the manufactures directions.
  • Bonfires at special functions may be permitted, provided that a permit is first obtained from the city Fire Marshal’s office. Certain restrictions or conditions may be required by the Fire Marshal before a permit is issued, and the Fire Marshal may refuse to issue a permit if the conditions are not met or if the hazards of such a function exceed reasonable safeguards.

Examples of Approved Fire Pits