Backyard fire pits

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Fire pitThe spring and summer seasons find many families enjoying the outdoors and various interests including backyard campfires and commercial fire pits.  Although a campfire or bonfire requires a permit from the Franklin Fire Department, the use of a commercial fire pit does not require a special permit when used in your backyard and is constantly attended when in use.  If you are interested in building an outdoor fireplace, please contact the Department of Building and Neighborhood Services for assistance.


Safety information on Backyard Fire Pits

Here are a few safety reminders when using a commercial backyard fire pit:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the proper type of fuel and use of the fire pit.
  • Before each use, inspect the pit for damage.
  • Do not allow patio pillows, chair mats, or any other combustible materials to come in close proximity to the fire pit.  Clear dry vegetation and brush away from your fire pit 10-20 feet in all directions.
  • Always make sure the container is on a level surface and away from the home or other structures by at least 10 feet.  Do not use a fire pit on a wooden deck.
  • The containers are intended for small fires.  Don't overload your pit with wood or other materials.  You could damage your fire pit or worse, cause the fire to spread.
  • Screens should always be left in place while the fire is burning to prevent embers from flying and igniting grass, leaves, or other materials.
  • NEVER handle the screens or burning materials without the use of a poker or log grabber and let the materials cool completely before leaving the fire pit unattended.  NEVER dump ashes or remains in your trash can as the coals can continue to hold heat and result in a fire.
  • Fire pits cannot be used to burn brush and vegetation as they are not designed for large quantities of debris and materials.