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Fire pits are illegal in the town of Salina

— As the weather gets nicer and our residents want to spend more time outside, fire pits may seem to be a popular way to enjoy the outdoors. In the town of Salina, they are not allowed. Although you can find a variety of fire pits at local home improvement stores, what homeowners may not realize is lighting up the backyard fires is illegal in the town of Salina, and several other communities in the county. The Salina Fire Code works in conjunction with the New York State Fire Code, and in some cases, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The use of charcoal and gas grills is allowed, although they create some smoke, it is not considered a health hazard to adjoining property. There are several dangers to open fires; the biggest concern is the health hazard it causes because of the close proximity of the homes and property lines. This time of the year most residents have their windows open. The smoke from fire pits is heavy, and will linger and draw into the homes causing respiratory problems to the elderly. The other concern is that embers can burn off and float to nearby roofs or brush, and start a fire, as well as fires being burned too close to combustibles.

The law for the fire pits and its accessories is enforced when a call is made to the fire department. If found by fire officials, they will order the use of the devices discontinued immediately, and no further action will be taken. But if it becomes a chronic problem at the same location, a ticket will be issued and a possible fine of up to $200 per event will be levied.

It is advised that people who purchase any kind of wood burning device look at the warning label on the instruction manual, as most of the instructions will tell you to consult your local code enforcement office for specific rules of use.

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