City of Beloit Fire Department Urges Safety When Enjoying Recreational Fires

With warmer weather upon us, we wanted to share a few tips for bonfires to keep you and your neighbors safe this spring.

The City of Beloit ordinance only allows for recreational fires in portable outdoor fireplaces, which must be equipped with a screen capable of preventing burning embers from escaping. If you’re having a fire in the City of Beloit, you also must follow these rules:

  •        Weather Conditions. No person may kindle or maintain an outdoor fire in a portable outdoor fireplace when sustained wind velocities or wind gusts exceed 15 miles per hour.
  •        Fuel. Wood shall be used as the fuel in a portable outdoor fireplace, provided that the wood does not extend outside of the fireplace. Wood does not include green tree branches or wet, treated or painted wood. Flammable liquids may not be used to ignite the fire. No leaves, grass clippings or other yard waste may be burned in a portable outdoor fireplace.
  •        Fire Must Be Attended. No person under 18 years of age may kindle or maintain a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace. The fireplace must be attended at all times by a person 18 years of age or older. An extinguishing agent capable of extinguishing the fire must be present whenever the fireplace is in use.
  •        Location of Fireplace. No portable outdoor fireplace may be located within 10 feet of any building or combustible structure.
  •        Intensity of Fire. No person shall maintain a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace so that the flames extend beyond the fire chamber in the fireplace.

The ordinance in its entirety can be found online here.

If you’re able to meet all of the conditions for outdoor fires, then please also use the following safety precautions:

  •        Clear away dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and shrubs.
  •        Check area wind conditions on  
  •        Watch children while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.
  •        Attend to the fire at all times. A fire left alone for only a few minutes can grow into a damaging fire.
  •        Make sure to put it completely out before leaving the area.
  •        If your clothes catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll. Stop, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
  •        Treat a burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed.
  •        If roasting marshmallows, help young children. Never shake a roasting marshmallow. It can turn into a flying, flaming ball. A heated metal skewer can cause burns.