City code encourages enjoying summer fires safely

Metro Creative

Chimineas, grills and fire pits need to be away from all structures in backyards of Gladstone homeowners. If a person lives on an apartment building’s first floor, grills must be 10 feet from the building.

Summer breezes, beautiful sunsets, drinking lemonade on the patio and making s’mores over a fire, these are all things people enjoy in the summer. As with anything however, we need to be aware and enjoy our activities safely.

While we doubt there’s any danger in a summer breeze or a beautiful sunset, anytime fire is involved, care must be taken.

For this topic, we called on our own Gladstone Fire Marshall Marc Wachter to share ordinance regulations that will help keep families safe.

In regards to outdoor fire pits, chimineas, or grills, residences should:

• keep at least 15 feet away from any combustible materials; or

• not place them under trees or overhead wires.

When building a fire pit, the pit must:

• have sides that are at least 12 inches tall with a maximum of 24 inches;

• be made of noncombustible materials;

• not be larger than 3 feet across in diameter;

• have flying embers kept to a minimum; and

• not have flames higher than 18 inches above the top of the fire pit sides.

Residents must not leave the fire unattended and have something readily available to put the fire out. This can be a fire extinguisher or a garden hose.

Commercially purchased chimineas or fire pits should be in good working order. It is unlawful to burn trash, construction materials or yard waste.

Do not burn if the weather has been dry, there is a burn ban in place, or the wind is in excess of 15 miles per hour.

Bonfires are not allowed anywhere in the City of Gladstone per section 307.4.3.1 of Gladstone City Code.

If you live in an apartment in our city, you cannot have any open flame cooking, heating or decorative device that is fueled by charcoal, wood, propane gas, natural gas or other such fuels. The fuels for such devices shall not be stored or located on decks, balconies, porches or patios or within 10 feet of any dwelling unit per section 308.1.4 of Gladstone City Code.

Understand that the rules in place are to protect not only you and your family, but everyone who lives in your building. If you’d like to build a fire to enjoy, many places have centrally located facilities in the common areas to grill or enjoy a fire pit.

If you live in an apartment, we are sorry but you cannot have a grill, fire pit or chiminea on your deck, even for storage. If you live on the ground floor, it must be more than 10 feet from the building.

A brochure is available on fire pit and outdoor cooking guidelines at the Gladstone Fire Department or the Community Development Department.

This article is the eighth of a monthly series provided by the city of Gladstone. The series is designed to inform residents of city code to help better understand what is allowed within the city.