Fire Pit Policy

The Falmouth Fire Rescue Department's policy concerning the use of "Open Fire Pits" is this:

527CMR 1: Persons 18 years of age or older may, without a permit, set, maintain or increase a reasonable fire for the purpose of cooking, upon sandy or gravelly land free from living or dead vegetation or upon sandy or rocky beaches bordering tidewater, if the fire is enclosed within rocks, metal or non-combustible material.

There is no type of special permit required for the use of outdoor fire pits on private property.

Rules to Follow

However, these are the rules to follow:

  1. The purpose of a fire pit is primarily for cooking.
  2. Keep the fire small and manageable (less than 3 feet in diameter).
  3. Never use wet, damp, or "new" wood. This creates needless, irritating smoke. Always use dry, seasoned wood, charcoal, or specialist fuel (e.g. wood burning briquettes).
  4. Do not cause a nuisance to neighbors.
  5. If the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department receives complaints from neighbors that the smoke or smell is bothersome to them, we will investigate, and if deemed necessary, you may be instructed to extinguish or allow it to burn out. If multiple complaints are justified you will not be allowed to burn.
  6. The fire pit should be sited on a flat surface that is non-combustible. An area should be cleared around it 15 feet in all directions of all vegetation and combustibles.
  7. The fire pit MUST be 25 feet from any habitable structure.
  8. If using a manufactured fire pit, it is to be placed on a flat and level surface, on the ground. Fire pits are not allowed on decks. The fire pit should not wobble at all.
  9. If assembly is required, be sure to read the assembly instructions carefully and attach any fastenings securely.
  10. Do not leave the fire unattended. It could pose a hazard to both children and pets.
  11. Make sure that the fire pit is placed away from other materials that could burn or catch fire, both overhead and to the side, such as tree branches, sheds, awnings, clotheslines, fences, and plants.
  12. Use long barbecue tongs to handle wood or food to lessen the risk of burning yourself. A pair of fire gloves would also be useful - the sides of cast iron fire pits in particular get very hot.
  13. Never use a manufactured fire pit indoors.
  14. It is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose handy, for quick extinguishment if necessary.
  15. Never use an accelerant to light any fire.
  16. Fire pits are not allowed on Town of Falmouth property, including town-owned beaches.
  17. If you wish to have a fire pit on a beach that you don't own, the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department requires written permission from the owner before a fire can be set.
  18. You should call the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department prior to lighting your outdoor fire at 508-495-2501 so we are aware that you are conducting outdoor burning.