Borough of New Britain, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Britain 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 332. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 165.
Solid-fuel-burning appliances and chimneys — See Ch. 365.
Solid waste — See Ch. 369.
Zoning — See Ch. 410.

§ 144-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NATURAL YARD WASTE
Natural materials originating on the lot where the burning is to occur, consisting of branches, vines and dried vegetable matter.
OPEN BURNING
Any outdoor fire.
RECREATIONAL FIRE
Small campfire.
UNTREATED WOOD
Consisting of cord wood or milled wood no more than 24 inches in length which is not pressure-treated and is not finished with any paint or stain or varnish or preservative or sealant.

§ 144-2 Enforcement. [1]

The Central Bucks Regional Police Department or its successor Department is charged with enforcing the terms of this chapter. Every police officer shall have absolute discretion to determine that an open fire presents an unreasonable danger under the circumstances or presents a nuisance to neighboring properties, under the circumstances, and upon such a determination, may order that such fire be extinguished. Failure of any person maintaining a fire to abide by a police officer's direction in regard to extinguishing a fire shall be punishable as provided in § 144-7 of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 144-3 Open burning prohibited; exceptions.

Open burning in New Britain Borough is absolutely prohibited except as follows:
A. 
The owner or renter of a lot, or his or her designee, shall be permitted to burn natural yard waste on that lot.
B. 
The owner or renter of a lot, or his or her designee, shall be permitted to burn untreated wood on that lot.
C. 
The owner or renter of a lot, or his or her designee, shall be permitted to maintain a recreational fire on that lot, subject to the limitations set forth below at § 144-6 and the applicable provisions of § 144-5.

§ 144-4 Time limitations for permitted burning.

Open burning described in § 144-3 is permitted to occur only between the hours of sunrise and sunset and not before or thereafter, except in the case of a recreational fire.

§ 144-5 Safety.

A. 
All fires permitted under § 144-3 above shall be located upon the ground or in the ground, in an area separated from any structure by a minimum distance of 50 feet.
B. 
Once any fire has been ignited, the lot owner or some adult designated by him or her must attend the fire at all times by being out of doors and present on the lot where the burning is occurring.
C. 
Once any fire has been ignited, a rake and a garden hose, controlled by a nozzle, but turned on at the spigot, must be maintained within at least 15 feet of the fire.
D. 
No fire may be ignited or maintained during windy conditions or during any period of drought or excessive dryness. No citation shall be issued for violation of this section, though a police officer may cite any subject for refusing an order by the police to extinguish such a fire. Notwithstanding the foregoing, under appropriate circumstances a person maintaining a fire under adversely windy or dry conditions may be subject to prosecution for recklessly endangering another person or for risking a catastrophe under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
E. 
No fire may be maintained that causes or permits smoke to drift over or onto adjoining or nearby properties disturbing the quiet enjoyment of those properties. No citation shall be issued for violation of this section, though a police officer may cite any subject for refusing an order by the police to extinguish such a fire.
F. 
No fire may exceed 48 inches in width at its base, and fuel may not be stacked higher than 36 inches above the base.
G. 
Under no circumstances shall any materials that are not defined as "natural yard waste" or "untreated wood" above be burned in any open fire in the Borough.

§ 144-6 Recreational fires.

The owner or renter of a lot may maintain a recreational fire on that lot under the following conditions:
A. 
The base of the fire shall not exceed 30 inches in width and the fuel shall not be stacked higher than 20 inches above the base.
B. 
A recreational fire may be ignited and maintained after sunrise and must be extinguished by 1:00 a.m. No fires may be ignited or maintained after 1:00 a.m.
C. 
The provisions of § 144-5A through E and G, above, shall apply to recreational fires to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the provisions Subsections A and B of this section.

§ 144-7 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs thereof, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).