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Posted on: April 23, 2019

Fire Pit Regulations & Safety Tips

Fire Pit

The use of fire pits shall be limited to UL Listed commercially manufactured containers or built-in fire pits approved through the building permit process. Most commercially manufactured fire pits come with a mesh screen. Mesh screens control sparks of the popping fire wood and flying embers that could cause a fire elsewhere.

The use of properly selected fire wood, which is dry and well-seasoned (aged), will minimize the development of smoke. Oak and Hickory fire wood produce less smoke, popping, and sparks than unseasoned or soft woods like pine or cedar. It is unlawful to build, light or burn any rubbish, construction material, leaves or other combustible refuse anywhere in the Village. Treated wood can give off a poisonous smoke and shall not be burned.

Fire Pit Safety Tips:

  • Never use on combustible surface like a deck or balcony
  • Fire pits shall be 15 feet from combustible material (house, deck, fence or shed)
  • Have a form of extinguishing the fire readily available such as a garden hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher
  • Do not use flammable fluids (gasoline or lighter fluid ) to start a fire
  • Don’t wear loose fitting or flammable clothing around fires
  • Consider wind conditions before starting a fire
  • Never leave a fire pit unattended
  • Keep children a minimum of three feet away from the fire
  • Properly extinguish the fire with water when done
  • Deposit of properly extinguished ashes in an empty metal container that has a lid. Never leave this container on or next to combustible surfaces like a deck, balcony or wall.
  • Follow the manufacture’s specifications for gas fire pit and table use
  • Built-in fire pits shall have a maximum interior dimension of 3 feet and a maximum height of 2 feet.  Ember screens are required


Keep in mind many people suffer from medical conditions where smoke can affect their breathing.  Thus, be courteous to your neighbors and inquire if they have any medical conditions that may restrict your fire.


Finally, the Village of Palatine has a nuisance ordinance that if any open burning becomes offensive or objectionable, the Palatine Fire and Police Departments are authorized to order the extinguishment of a recreational fire, including built-in fire pits.


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