Fire & Life Safety Tips

Outdoor Burning Regulations

A garden chiminea nestled in a garden with blazing fire inside.The Golden Fire Department often receives questions about outdoor burning regulations, especially this time of year as the days are getting longer but the nights are still brisk.

Burning outdoors per the adopted and amended fire code in Golden has different levels of applicable code requirements. There are several types of fires and definitions that classify each. See the Fire Types and Code Requirements for each listed below, or download a pdf copy for printing or offline reference.

Be sure to review the definitions and requirements before you start an outdoor fire of any type, and be aware of any current fire restrictions in place.

Call 303-215-8886 with questions.

Fire Types and Code Requirements

Open Burning
  • Bonfires are open burning (large) other than rubbish for ceremonial purposes.
  • All open burning requires a GFD and Jeffco Health Department permit for air quality.
  • The permit holder must have the permit on site and be following all permit requirements
Recreational Fires
  • Is limited to untreated dry wood except for starter material such as starter sticks or paper.
  • Burning of any rubbish or trash of any kind in prohibited.
  • By definition, burn materials other than rubbish OR VEGETATION not in an incinerator, built outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, or BBQ grill.
  • Limited to a maximum fuel pile of 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height; are used only for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes.
  • Does NOT include vegetation management or “green” fuels that have a high moisture content and produce a large amount of smoke.
  • No permit is required but adopted fire code requirements apply.
  • Must be a minimum of 25 feet from structures or combustible materials that could cause fire to spread to within 25 feet of a structure.
  • Must be constantly attended by a competent adult in control of the property until extinguished. (Not under the influence to the point they would likely not be able to drive. Seek police determination if needed).
  • Attendant must have a readily accessible means to extinguish the fire such as; a minimum of one 4A rated portable extinguisher, charged garden hose, a 5-gallon bucket of water, or a 5-gallon bucket of dirt or sand and shovel.
Portable Outdoor Fireplaces
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces burn solid fuel other than rubbish with a pile size limited to that of a recreational fire (3 feet diameter by 2 feet high), and are constructed of steel, concrete, clay, or other non-combustible material either open in design or equipped with a hearth opening or short chimney (the typical fire pots or chimineas sold commercially).
  • Limited to use at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible materials (except at one- and two-family dwellings).
  • Must be constantly attended by a competent adult in control of the property until extinguished. (Not under the influence to the point they would likely not be able to drive. Seek police determination if needed).
  • Attendant must have a readily accessible means to extinguish the fire such as; a minimum of one 4A rated portable extinguisher, charged garden hose, a 5-gallon bucket of water, or a 5-gallon bucket of dirt or sand and shovel.

Safety Tips

Consider these statistics:
  • Each day, an average of three kids die in home fires—1,100 children each year.
  • About 3,600 children are injured in house fires each year.
  • 90 percent of child fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.
  • Although smoke detectors are in 92 percent of American homes, nearly one-third don’t work because of old or missing batteries.
  • A working smoke detector reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

Listed below are a few simple steps that you can take in your own home to ensure the safety of yourself and the ones you love.

The City of Golden Fire Department also offers a number of Fire Safety Programs to help you and the ones you love stay safe, and know what to do in any emergency.

If you are interested in setting up an appointment or have questions regarding any public safety or education program, contact the Fire Inspector at (303) 215-8886.

A fire alarm is shown in all bedrooms and on every level of the home.

Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement and family room and, most important, outside all bedrooms. Alarms should be mounted high on the walls (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), ceilings (positioned 4 inches away from the nearest wall), or vaulted ceilings (mounted at highest point of ceiling). Replace alarms every ten years. Please see our Smoke Alarm Safety Tips pdf download and CO Alarm Safety Tips pdf download for more information on installing and maintaining alarms.

Change your alarm batteries when you change your clocks in the fall.

The Golden Fire Department and fire experts nationwide encourage people to change smoke alarm and CO alarm batteries at least annually. An easy way to remember to change your batteries is to do it when you turn your clocks back in the fall. Replace old batteries with fresh, high quality alkaline batteries to keep your smoke alarm going year-long.

Mark it on your calendar to test your smoke and CO alarms once a month.

After inserting fresh batteries in your smoke alarm and CO (carbon monoxide) alarm, check to make sure each alarm is working by pushing the test button. Then continue to test them both every month.

As an additional step, you should clean your smoke alarms and CO alarm of dust and cobwebs with a vacuum to ensure their sensitivity.

Plan and practice your escape plan in case of a fire.

Create at least two different escape routes out of every room in the home (first is usually a door, second is usually a window). The escape routes should be unobstructed and easy-to-use exits. Also, a central meeting place outside of the home should be established. The escape plan should be practiced with all members of the household at least twice a year. Children are at double the risk of dying in a home fire because they often become scared and confused during fires. Make sure your children understand that a smoke detector signals a home fire and that they recognize its alarm. Learn more about How to make an escape plan pdf download.

Resources

COG Mesa

 Golden was named after Thomas L. Golden,
a gold prospector who arrived in Jefferson County in 1858.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa
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