BBQ and Fire Pit Regulations


BBQ Regulations & Safety

West Metro Fire receives many inquiries about what is allowed with regard to barbeque grills.


Open-flame cooking devices

Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3049 mm) of combustible construction. 

1. One and two-family dwellings
2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 2 1/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].

If you live in an apartment building or other multifamily dwelling, you may not operate open-flame cooking devices on your balcony or patio that are within 10 feet of combustible construction. One and two family dwellings, which include townhomes, are exempt.
The exceptions also include decks and balconies protected by an automatic sprinkler system. You may also use a propane grill if it is utilizes a small 2 ½ pound tank. The larger 20 pound bottles are not allowed on balconies.
Another option is to use an electric grill, which has no restrictions.
The enforcement of these regulations is making a difference. West Metro Fire has seen a dramatic decrease in structure fires attributed to barbecue grills and we appreciate your cooperation in following these regulations. 


Fire Pits and Portable Fire Places

The use of fire pits and portable fire places is permissible within the West Metro Fire Protection District if the following requirements are met and there are no fire bans in place.


Here are some things to remember about recreational fires and portable fire places:

A recreational fire is limited to a pile size of 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. A recreational fire does not require a permit, but anything larger requires an open burn permit (bonfire or agricultural burn).
A recreational fire pit must be at least 25 feet from a structure or combustible material.

Portable fire places must be at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible material and shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. One and two family dwellings, which include townhomes, are exempt from this distance requirement.

Recreational fires are for recreation, not for burning yard waste or rubbish. Fuel should consist of cut and dried wood or untreated lumber. If you are burning yard waste you will be asked to extinguish the fire.
If your fire creates or adds to a hazardous condition you will be asked to put it out. We ask that you be sensitive to how smoke may affect your neighbors.


Please check to see if there are any burn bans currently in effect. Information can be found on the County Sheriff’s web site.

 Jefferson County
 Douglas County


The following information is taken from the 2015 Edition of the International Fire Code:


An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.


 A portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top.



307.1.1 Prohibited open burning.

 Open burning shall be prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

307.3 Extinguishment authority.

 When open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or a required permit for open burning has not been obtained, the fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment of the open burning operation.

307.4.1 Bonfires.

A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.2 Recreational fires.

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.3 Portable outdoor fireplaces

Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.

Exception: Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one- and two-family dwellings.


307.5 Attendance

Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization. 
Contact us with questions regarding BBQ and Fire Pits Regulations.

Life Safety Links


New Construction Fees

Tenant Improvement Fees

Operational Permits and Misc. Fees

Community Education Fees

Records Fees

Construction & Building Services

Plan Review Submittal Process

Plan Review Status

Fire Codes

Fire Alarms Sprinkler Permitting

Fire Alarm System Reduction or Removal Process

Fire Life Safety Site Plan Submittal

Construction Management Site Plan Requirements

Schedule a Construction Inspection

Knox Box

Technical Bulletins

Construction Permit Applications

Access Control Permit Application

Carbon Dioxide System Permit Application

Fire Alarm Control Panel (Dialer) Permit Application

Fire Alarm Permit Application

Fire Suppression Permit Application

Kitchen Hood Suppression System Permit Application

Medical Gas Install Permit Application

New Building/Core and Shell Permit Application

Photovoltaic Permit Application

Radio Amplification System Permit Application

Revised Drawing Application

Tenant Finish/Improvement Permit Application

Underground Fire Line Permit Application

Code Compliance

Code Compliance

Annual Code Compliance Building Inspections

Operational Permits

Hazardous Materials

Workplace Fire Safety and Extinguisher Training

Evacuation Drill Witness

State Safety Inspection

Community Education

Community Education

Car Seat Checks

CPR / AED First-Aid Classes

Family Fire Muster

Home Safety

Youth Fire Setting

Kids Club

School Programs

Senior Citizen Programs

Personal Emergency Preparedness Tips

Community Involvement

Community Involvement

Service Hours Donations

Safety Events Family Fire Muster

Fire Station Tours and Fire Engine Visit

Community Risk Reduction

Community Risk Reduction

Risk Management Map

Wildfire Safety

Residential Info & Programs

Residential Info and Programs

Current Burn Restrictions

BBQ Fire Pit Regulations

Low Cost Smoke and CO Alarms