As fall time approaches and cooler weather sets in, questions have been brought to the attention of the municipality regarding exterior fires. The Borough would like to clarify the difference between an open burn, a recreational fire and a portable fireplace (chimenea).
Jenkintown Borough has adopted the 2009 International Fire Code. As defined in Section 302 of the Fire Code, an open burn is that which releases products of combustion and noxious fumes directly into the atmosphere and is not in an approved container.
A recreational fire as defined under Section 302 is that which is in an approved container, not more than 3’ in diameter and less than 2’ high. Only approved fuels may be burned in such container.
A portable fireplace as defined in Section 302 is that which may have a small hearth or chimney. This type of container will typically have a spark screen built into it.
Regardless of the container, the fire must be supervised until extinguished and fire suppression must be within reach. Fire suppression as defined in Section 307.5 of the Fire Code is a fire extinguisher with a 4-A rating, dirt, sand or garden hose immediately available for use. The burning of yard debris or trash, even in such containers is strictly prohibited and a violation of the open burn ordinance a stated in Chapter 94, Article II.
Property owners shall be mindful of neighbors and limit the amount of smoke produced as not to cause a nuisance. Safe distances, as listed in Section 307 of the Fire Code shall be 25’ from any structure and/or other combustible materials and 15’ from any structure for a portable fireplace. Questions can be directed to the Fire Marshal’s office at Borough Hall.