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Forums > Social Discussion > Legally spinning fire in the US, wrt International Fire Code

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Warm beer is infinitely colder than no beer
Location: Boulder, Co
Member Since: 4th Jul 2001
Total posts: 222
Posted:Trying to be a good citizen, I went to the fire department yesterday to inquire as to how I could obtain a permit to legally spin fire in my back yard. I was not well-received. I asked to see the relevant code, but they weren't sure where to look.

Before I visit with the Assistant Fire Marshall I was wondering if any other HoPpers were familiar in general with the legality of spinning in the US.

They did tell me that my city has adopted some or much of the International Fire Code, which I requested from Interlibrary Loan through my university.


HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines
Member Since: 4th Aug 2004
Total posts: 4437
Posted:I'm glad to see that your looking so much into it smile however I was under the impression (i may be wrong) that in the USA and anywhere really it is perfectly legal to spin fire in your backyard

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian


Warm beer is infinitely colder than no beer
Location: Boulder, Co
Member Since: 4th Jul 2001
Total posts: 222
Posted:Well, for example, it is illegal to have a charcoal grill too close to a structure (garage, house etc...). Fire codes cover fire in every imaginable place within city limits (and then there are other codes for out of city limits).


Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:Yeah, there aren't many laws regarding fire spinning in most of the US.

For instance, in my town, spinning in private property is fine with the owner's consent. However, spinning is barred from public land as it constitutes "open flame" which is banned.

As you may imagine, "open flame" is a loose blanket term, but the Fire department here said that if I worked things out with the park district and had the fire marshall handy, I may be able to work out spins in the local park.

Sounds like a lot of work frown Rather just spin in my backyard or friend's yard or parties so the general public don't gawk.

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />


I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I am currently in Law School, training to be able to research the law and advise people on this sort of question. Through the school I have access to the codes that are hard for normal people to get (expensive subscription sites) Send me a PM telling me the details of exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it, and I'll see what I can dig up for you (free of charge, but you also can't sue me for malpractice if I'm wrong).


Warm beer is infinitely colder than no beer
Location: Boulder, Co
Member Since: 4th Jul 2001
Total posts: 222
Posted:I think a good starting point will be the International Fire Code. Since every city has the option of developing unique fire codes or adopting established ones I am starting in general. The ISBN for the '03 version is 1892395606. The '06 version (1580012558) hasn't been released yet.


Location: Oregon, USA
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2005
Total posts: 577
Posted:Another good place to learn from, and contribute to, is:

In Portland, they have worked out firespinning on public property with the fire marshals. Provided we adhere to all safety requirements, we can spin in a public area (under a freeway bridge). Last week there was a cop watchin the show for a bit, I'm sure making sure everything was proper and there was no substance use or weapons or the like, but he gave no fuss and remained in the background.

On the other hand, here in Eugene, a crotchity neighbor called the law down on us as we were spinning in a back yard and we got shut down. Mostly cause the law was grumpy and we had an "open flame" (a covered metal fire pit). Unfortunately, we weren't entirely up on our codes and they could say whatever they wanted cause we pretty much were in violation with the fire pit at the very least. Hopefully we'll have it sorted out for next time tho.

It's definitely smart to talk with the fire marshals tho, let them know you have the safety gear and knowledge to use it. Let them know what you are planning, what it entails and where. Find and fill whatever permits are needed for "practice" (there can be different permits for general practice and actual "performance"). That way you don't have to run into any unnecessary surprises.

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:NAFAA is very limited in what they do, and of not much help to most of the US.

Check your open flame laws, as well as use of fire on private property, as that is where this usually falls under. It changes in every township due to space.
For example, in a suburb or city where yards are small, open flames of certain sizes (candles are allowed but not tiki torches, for example, which would mean no fire poi) are usually prohibited because of the danger to neighboring structures.
With country based or larger properties the laws tend to be a bit more lienient.

There are not fire manipulation laws, but there are tonnes of laws pertaining to fire on private property.

Simply ask for the codes pertaining to open fire on private property and you should be set.

I went in to our fire marshall with a photo sheet, a burn plan and a resume and got a "what do you need us for?" response.
If I could find the threads we have a bunch of old ones about the best ways to approach fire marshalls, finding fire codes and what not.

The biggest thing is try not to make it seem like you are challenging them, or like you are trying to prove them wrong. Try to work *with* them on this. They have no understanding of what this really is most of the time, and explaining it is a pain, but one that works in the end. I even ended up being able to spin on top of a fire engine once I got them to realize I wasn't going to burn down the neighborhood.

And, from experience (since I have a bit of background in law..real estate, property and contract laws actually), it is better to ask them for the codes than to seek them out on your own and show up with them. It tends to make the fire boyz a bit hot under their collars.

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Location: Oxford
Member Since: 30th Nov 2005
Total posts: 360
Posted:I've only been in trouble with the fire dept once cause we had a fire on what was technically private land, and moved us on. There's another park where we've had hundreds of fires & nobody seems to mind as long as it's not on the golf course.

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