Open Burning

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Purpose
 The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Borough of Quakertown.

Prohibition against Open Burning
Within the municipal limits of the Borough, no person shall kindle, set, start, ignite, maintain or permit the kindling, setting, starting, ignition or maintenance of any open burning outside of any building for any purpose at all, including by way of example and not by way of limitation any junk fire, refuse fire, open fire, a fire ignited to burn brush, grass, wood, leaves, paper, rubbish, garbage, construction materials, etc.

Open burning that will be offensive or objectionable due to smoke or odor emissions due to atmospheric conditions or local circumstances shall be prohibited. The Code Official or Fire Marshal is authorized to order the extinguishment of any open burning which creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation. The Fire Marshal or Code Official may ban open burning within the Borough when atmospheric conditions result in the potential for wildfires that may spread from their source due to dry vegetative or plant conditions.

Exceptions
The prohibition against open burning in 1, above, shall not apply to any fire started or ignited:

  1. For the purpose of instructing firefighting personnel
    • Burning will be allowed for the purpose of instruction or training firefighting personnel under the supervision of the fire chief or officer in charge. However, fire for firefighting training may not be used when atmospheric conditions would create a situation of offensive or objectionable smoke or odor on other premises.
  2. To prevent or abate a fire hazard
  3. For the prevention and control of disease or pests
  4. Solely for ceremonial purposes, such as a bonfire
    • A permit shall be obtained from the Borough Fire Marshal prior to kindling a fire to prevent or abate a fire hazard, for the prevention and control of disease or pests and for ceremonial purposes, such as a bonfire
    • When required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified are followed
    • The location for 2, 3,and 4 above shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure
  5. The outdoor cooking of food shall be permitted in or on an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved open flame cooking device, solely intended for the cooking of food, and in strict adherence with the manufacture’s specifications and the 2006 International Fire Code
    • Units not approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) must be approved by the Borough Fire Marshal and used in strict adherence with manufacturers specifications and the 2006 International Fire Code
  6. The use of patio wood burning units that are approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are approved for use under the following conditions:
    • The patio wood burning unit is approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL)
    • Under no circumstances shall trash, garbage, leaves, brush, branches or hazardous materials be used in the ignition of these devices; the burning of clean wood only is permitted
    • The use of a patio wood burning unit is used in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and the 2006 International Fire Code
    • The patio wood burning unit while in use must be ignited, attended and extinguished by an adult (18 years or older). A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment such as a bucket of water or garden hose shall be available for immediate utilization
    • Units not approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) must be approved by the Borough Fire Marshal and used in strict adherence with manufacturers specifications and the 2006 International Fire Code
  7. The use of a Masonry Home Built Units are approved for use under the following conditions:
    • The Existing Masonry Home Built Unit has been inspected and approved by the Borough Fire Marshal
    • Under no circumstances shall trash, garbage, leaves, brush, branches or hazardous materials be used in the ignition of these devices: The burning of Clean-wood only is permitted
    • The outdoor fireplace must be ignited, attended and extinguished by an adult (18 years or older). A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment such as a bucket of water or garden hose shall be available for immediate utilization
    • The owner of a New Masonry Home Built Unit shall obtain a permit from the Code Enforcement Office prior to any installation and the final installation shall be inspected by the Code Enforcement Official and only put into operation with written approval from the Borough’s Code Enforcement Office. The purpose of the Code Enforcement Office inspection will only be to ensure compliance with this ordinance and shall not be considered a safety inspection
  8. An outdoor wood-fired boiler may be installed and used in accordance with all of the following provisions:
    • The outdoor wood-fired boiler shall not be used to burn refuse and shall be used to burn clean wood only
    • Shall be located at least 100 feet from the nearest residential dwelling which is not on the same property as the outdoor wood-fired boiler
    • Shall have a chimney that extends at least 15 feet above the ground surface or 3 feet above the building it serves, whichever is greater. In addition, the chimney shall extend 3 feet above the highest peak of any residence located within 500 feet from the wood-fired boiler. The Fire Marshal or designee may approve a lesser height on a case-by-case basis if, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal or designee, it is necessary to comply with manufacturer’s recommendations and if a lower chimney height does not create a nuisance to neighbors
    • The owner of the outdoor wood-fired boiler shall obtain a permit from the Code Enforcement Office prior to any installation and the final installation shall be inspected by the Code Enforcement Official and only put into operation with written approval from the Borough’s Code Enforcement Office. The purpose of the Code Enforcement Office inspection will only be to ensure compliance with this ordinance and shall not be considered a safety inspection

Penalties
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, Each day that a violation of this Part continues shall constitute a separate offense.