September 21, 2020

City Council approves ordinance amendment, clears use of backyard fire pits

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East Providence, RI – The East Providence City Council has voted to approve the passage of a newly amended ordinance that clears the use of backyard fire pits.

Introduced by Councilor Nate Cahoon and approved by the Council on Sept. 1, 2020, the ordinance in amendment of Chapter 5 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of East Providence, as amended entitled Fire Prevention enables residential outdoor wood-burning fires (fire pits), clearly defines which fire pits may be used, where they are to be located and fines for any violations of the ordinance.

Councilor Cahoon worked closely with the City’s Fire Prevention Office to draft the amended ordinance, which includes restrictions and emphasizes safety. Restrictions and guidance include:
• Wood-burning fire pits, portable outdoor fireplace/pits are only allowed at single-family homes or duplexes in East Providence
• All residential outdoor recreational clean wood-burning must be immediately extinguished upon the direction of a member of the East Providence Fire Dept.
• Fire places/pits shall not be left unattended
• Adult supervision is required at all times
• Propane tanks shall be listed in good condition and have a current certification
• All residential outdoor recreational wood-burning fires (purchased or constructed) must be made with non-flammable material, include a cover and not exceed three feet in diameter by two feet in height
• All fire pits shall burn clean wood (natural wood or pellets)
• All residential, outdoor fire pits shall be located 30 feet away from neighbor’s homes
• Fires must not cause noxious emissions onto the property of others
• Use of accelerants (gas, fuel, kerosene, butane, etc.) to light or maintain fires is prohibited
• An adult (18 or over) must have access to a source of water (garden hose or water supply) to extinguish the fire
• Burning that is offensive due to smoke or other odors may be prohibited by the Fire Department
• Burning shall not take place when wind speeds reach 15 mph or above or when there is a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning

Violations of the newly amended ordinance include a warning citation (first offense) and a $100 fine for second offense. Penalty for the third offense within a calendar year comes with a $200 fine and a fourth/or subsequent violation comes with a $500 fine.

The complete ordinance may be found here: https://clerkshq.com/EastProvidence-ri 

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