[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City 4-19-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 122.
Fire pits or other similar devices are authorized within the City of Ventnor subject to the restrictions set forth in this chapter. For the purpose of this chapter, a fire pit shall be considered as any outdoor fireplace unit built after obtaining permits and approvals pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code, or
Any equipment designed and used for outdoor fires and operated pursuant to manufacturer's instructions.
All such fireplaces or fire pits as set forth above shall be no larger than three feet in diameter and two feet in height and are required to have an approved screen or spark arrestor.
Such fireplaces or fire pits may only be used at residential properties containing two or fewer units and are prohibited from being used at any commercial establishment or for any commercial use or at any multifamily dwelling in excess of two units.
All such devices shall be kept at ground level and must be placed upon a noncombustible surface such as brick or cement. No such devices shall be permitted on any type of elevated landing, surface, deck, stairway, roof or other elevated platform or portion of a structure.
Said devices are prohibited from being used within 15 feet of any structure, including but not limited to homes, garages, sheds, showers or other such structures.
Such devices are prohibited from being used within five feet of any other combustible surface, including but not limited to, bushes, fences, pools, plants, shrubs, houses used for feeding of sheltering animals or other combustible surfaces.
Said devices are prohibited from being used underneath any cave, overhang, roof, wires, tree limbs, vegetation, gutter, downspouts or decks.
Any outdoor fireplace or fire pit must be constantly attended while in use and shall not be left unattended while any burning, smoldering or heat generation is taking place.
No fireplace or fire pit shall be used in the City of Ventnor other than during the hours between 9:00 a.m. and midnight.
No trash or other waste such as garbage, leaves, construction debris, rubbish, plastic materials, leather, furniture or petroleum-based materials may be used to fuel any fire in an outdoor fireplace or fire pit within the City of Ventnor. Only dry, seasoned firewood or prepackaged "Duraflame" type logs may be used as fuel for any fire in a fireplace or fire pit within the City of Ventnor. The same shall be lighted by the minimal amount of newspaper or wood kindling necessary. Under no condition shall a flammable or combustible liquid such as lighter fluid, kerosene, gasoline or other combustible liquid be used to start, fuel or otherwise enhance any fire in a fireplace or fire pit in the City of Ventnor.
No person shall leave the contents of a fire pit burning or smoldering and proper extinguishment of the same is required. For the purpose of this chapter, proper extinguishment of the contents of a fire pit may be obtained by using a fire extinguisher with a minimum of a 4A rating or a garden hose with suitable water supply. The fire shall be properly and thoroughly extinguished and ashes are to be properly disposed no sooner than 48 hours after burning. Ashes may be stored in a metal can with a tightly fitted lid which is located at least five feet away from any building or other combustible surface or material.
The Chief of the Ventnor City Fire Department or his designee or officers of the Ventnor City Police Department may enforce this chapter. Anyone authorized to enforce this chapter shall have the authority to immediately cause any person using a fire pit or fireplace within the City of Ventnor to extinguish the same and order that the same not be used for an appropriate duration of time if said enforcement official believes that the continued use of a fire pit or fireplace may cause any of the following conditions:
This chapter shall not apply to any burning that requires a permit to be obtained pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code. To the extent this chapter is in conflict with the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code or the Uniform Construction Code, said Code shall take precedence.
The following penalties shall be applicable for any violations of this chapter:
For a first offense: a violator shall be informed of the violation, and ordered to properly extinguish the fire contained in the fireplace or fire pit. The violator shall be given a verbal warning and shall be subject to increased penalties for subsequent violations.
For second offense: for any offense which occurs within a twenty-four-month period of the first offense, a violator shall be subject to a fine of no less than $50 and no more than $500 and/or be required to perform up to 90 days of community service in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.
For third or subsequent offense: for any offense which occurs within 24 months of a second offense, said violator shall be subject to a fine of no less than $50 and no more $1,250, and/or community service not to exceed 90 days and/or imprisonment in the County Jail for a term not to exceed 90 days, all in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge.
A violation will be considered a subsequent offense if a previous offense has occurred at the same property address within 24 months of a previous offense even if a citation was issued to another individual at said address.