What is Open Burning?

Open burning is defined as “the burning of any materials wherein air contaminants resulting from combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney.”  Open burning includes the burning of any refuse or salvageable material in any device not subject to or designed specifically to comply with the requirements of rule 3745-17-09 (Restrictions on particulate emissions and odors from incinerators) or 3745-17-10 (Restrictions on particulate emissions from fuel burning equipment) of the Administrative Code.”

Regulations & Enforcement Authorities

Open burning activities are regulated by both the Ohio Fire Code (section 307) and the Ohio Administrative Code (section 3745.19). The regulations are established to prevent unfriendly fires resulting from open burning activities, prevent the discharge of pollutants into the atmosphere, and to protect others from hazardous or undesirable smoke conditions.

The Fire department normally enforces the regulations by issuing permits when required and investigating opening burning complaints when notified.

The Summit County Health Department’s Akron Regional Air Quality Management District is the Ohio EPA’s local affiliate also charged with the enforcement of open burning regulations.

The Akron Regional Air Quality Management District may investigate and enforce open burning infractions anywhere in the county independently of the local fire officials, or when needed work jointly with the local fire official.

Rules & Guidelines

The fire code and administrative regulations are outlined out in our own "Open Burning Guidelines" document. Summarized, the only open burning permitted in the city is a "recreational fire" and “portable outdoor fireplace” where no permit is needed, or a "bon-fire" where a permit is required.

In all cases, only clean seasoned fire wood or the equivalent is permitted as the fuel source. Treated, painted, or varnished wood/lumber and synthetic materials, etc. are not approved fuels. Open burning is not permitted for the disposal of trash, garbage, yard waste, or construction debris.

The Ohio EPA’s “Before You Light…” brochure also outlines the rules and regulations for open burning.

Frequent Complaints

Should the Fire department be summoned to investigate an open burning activity, the members utilize the open burning guidelines to establish if the activity complies, or can be brought into compliance with the guidelines. Non-compliant open burning fires must be extinguished. The person(s) conducting the activity are given a copy of the document for future reference, and we maintain a report on file documenting the incident. Those documents are utilized as needed should legal action become necessary for repeat offenders, or to defend persons subjected to unfounded nuisance complaints.

Any questions regarding open burning should be directed to the Fire department at (330) 971-8400.