Press Release: City Council clears use of backyard fire pits

Sept. 5, 2020

Office of the Mayor
Patricia Resende
(401) 529-3207

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

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: