No Open Burning
Arlington is 1 of 22 communities in which open burning is not allowed due to the density of population and the close proximity of buildings.
The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Arlington Fire Department limit open burning for public health and safety reasons. Open burning pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe. When the air is stagnant, open burning can pose smoke and odor nuisances - and health risks - to nearby residents, particularly in densely populated areas. Open burning can also pose a safety risk when it is not adequately controlled.
The limits on open burning do not apply to outdoor cooking, such as grills. Outdoor cooking appliances are defined as grills powered by LP (liquid propane), charcoal, or electricity. However, Chimeneas, outdoor fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and similar appliances designed for the primary purpose of heat and burning, are strictly prohibited and not allowed for use in the Town of Arlington. AFD will extinguish fires created by these appliances. Violation of regulations against open burning in Arlington can result in civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation.
MGL Chapter 111, Sections 142A, 142B (Air Pollution)
310 CMR 7.07, 7.52 Department of Environmental Protection Regulations
For additional fire safety information call 781-316-3801 or click here.
Grill Safety Tips
The Arlington Fire Department (AFD) would like to remind residents to be sure to use safe grilling practices this season. Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 6,200 home fires in 2004-2008, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,300 home fires. Fire in the grill under hot dogs and burgers is a welcome sight at the family cookout, but fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons and the AFD offers the following safety tips.
General Safety Tips
• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
• All grills should be placed on ground level at least 15 feet from any combustible, such as wooden porches, siding, decks, sliding glass doors or open windows.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area and protect grill from being knocked over.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
• There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel (instead of lighter fluid).
• If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
• Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord certified for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
It’s the Law
State fire prevention regulations prohibit the use of grills on apartment building or condominium balconies. The Town of Arlington does not permit the use of grills above the first floor of any dwelling including charcoal, electric, natural gas or liquid petroleum (LP) gas. Under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 148 Section 5, the use of grills in these locations constitutes a fire hazard, which will result in the shutting off of the grill and removal of same from the premises to a safe location. Additionally, fines may be sought against the owner and occupant.