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Open Burn and Cooking Fire Policy and Regulations
June 4, 2010

City of Independence Open Burn and Cooking Fire Policy and Regulation

In January 2013 the City Council officially adopted the 2012 International Fire Code (2012 IFC). The 2012 IFC is a key component in our community for life and property safety. The 2012 edition has added language to address specific open burning and cooking fire regulations.

It is the policy of the Independence Fire Department to enforce City Ordinance, Council adopted 2012 IFC and other Missouri regulations pertaining to open burning and cooking fire compliance through a system of education, warning and issuing of General Ordinance Summons (GOS).

Open Burning and Cooking Fire Regulation

The burning of household waste, vegetation, petroleum products, construction or demolition material is prohibited within the City limits. The City Ordinance does allow for open cooking fires without permitting, and outdoor recreational and ceremonial open burning under limited permitting provisions.

Residential open cooking fires for grilling and/or barbequing food are allowed within approved containers or enclosures. The Independence Fire Department recommends the purchase of commercially manufactured container or enclosure that is designed and engineered for fire safety and outdoor use. This type of container can be purchased at any local retailer. These types of residential open cooking fires do not require permitting from the Fire Prevention Division.

Fuels for open cooking fires are limited to natural gas, propane, charcoal or seasoned natural wood. Natural wood may not be smaller than 3 inches in diameter, milled lumber, weather treated or painted material.

Grilling and/or Barbequing of food are not permitted on or near a balcony of an apartment complex or multi-family residence, unless the balcony area has a fire sprinkler system.

Permitting for Outdoor Recreational and Ceremonial Open Burning

Permits are required by the Independence Fire Department when open burning includes outdoor recreational, ceremonial, bonfire, camp ground and public assembly type of flame sources.

· Hours of burning are limited to 1 hour before sunrise to 10:00 P.M.

· The material being burned must be dry, seasoned wood that is no less than 3 inches in diameter and will fit in a 2 ft. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. container.

· The burn is contained within an approved fire ring, container, enclosure or pit.

· The burn container dimensions can be no larger than 2 ft.X 2 ft. X 2 ft. or 8 cubic feet total.

· The burn container must be 50 feet from any other structure.

· No local burn ban is in effect.

· There must be a means of fire extinguishment on-site.

· The event must be supervised by an adult at all times.

· The fire must be fully extinguished before leaving.

Permits are free and can be obtained from the Fire Prevention Division after an approved on-site inspection.  Applications need to be obtained one to two business days in advance during regular business hours to accomodate an on-site inspection if needed. Permits can be obtained Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. at the Fire Department’s Fire Station 1 located at 950 N. Spring Street or you may call (816) 325-7121 for more information.

The Fire Chief may prohibit the issuance of all burn permits or suspend previously issued permits when weather conditions or other circumstances render such fires could be hazardous to life or property safety.

Residential Outdoor Fireplace / Open Burn Regulations

Outdoor fireplaces are approved within the City limits under certain conditions. The Independence Fire Department recommends the purchase of commercially manufactured containers or enclosures that are designed and engineered for fire safety and outdoor use. This type of container can be purchased at any local retailer. Residents must follow many of the same regulations as permitted during other open burning operations.

· The material being burned must be dry, seasoned wood that is no less than 3 inches in diameter and will fit in a 2 ft. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. container or smaller.

· The burn is contained within an approved fire ring, container, enclosure or pit.

· The burn container must be 50 feet from any other structure.

· There must be a means of fire extinguishment on-site.

· The event must be supervised by an adult at all times.

· The fire must be fully extinguished before leaving.

Residents of  Independence may construct their own outdoor fireplace under limited conditions. Before construction starts it is recommended a site plan of the outdoor fireplace be drawn and submitted to the Fire Prevention Division for review. Additionally, it is recommended that the outdoor fireplace be constructed of masonry, concrete, stone or heavy gage steel. Inspections are free of charge and can be scheduled Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. at Fire Station 1 located at 950 N. Spring Street or call (816) 325-7121 for further assistance.. 

 Download a  Copy of Open Burn and Cooking Fire Policy & Regulations Brochure
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