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Use Caution With Open-Flame Cooking Devices

Although the Douglas County Fire Code does regulate “Open Flame” and “Fire Pit” cooking devices, a permit is not required to use them. Therefore, Douglas County residents are urged to use extreme caution when using these types of devices during hot, dry and windy weather.

Dan Graham, Deputy Fire Marshall at the South Metro Fire District, recommends that people always use an enclosed cooking/fire pit or system in order to limit the escape of embers.

There are several regulations for outdoor cooking devices. Following are descriptions of the rules, as well as the South Metro Fire District’s suggestions.

Charcoal Burners and Other Open-Flame Cooking Devices:

These shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction. This requirement does not apply to single family homes and duplexes, but is recommended.

Cooking Devices that use Propane and Propane/Butane Mixtures

These are required to meet the same requirement (as above) unless the fuel container is 2.5 pounds or less in size. Again, this requirement does not apply to single family homes or duplexes, but is recommended.

Standard-Sized Barbeques

These are typically not allowed on decks or balconies of multi-family buildings such as condos or apartment buildings. Propane barbeques with tanks larger than 2.5 pounds are prohibited on balconies or decks of multi-family buildings. Every year throughout the United States, there are apartment and condo building fires caused by barbeques on decks and balconies.

Campfire Pits Larger than 3-feet in Diameter

These require permits and additional fire code requirements may apply.

Wood burning equipment may also be regulated by the State of Colorado due to air quality requirements.

Additional information on this topic is available on the South Metro Fire District’s “Life Safety Division” web page, located at



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