Open Fires and Cooking

Open Buring in the City Limits 

Burning trash and debris in the city is prohibited.

"307.1.1 Prohibited Open Burning. Open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited. Burning of refuse, debris and yard waste in the city limits is prohibited. All containers, pits, fireplaces or appliances used for open burning must be approved."

The last line of this ordinance references other types of open burning for agricultural purposes.


BBQ Pits at Apartments and Condos

This is a quick educational effort to remind occupants of multi-family occupancies about the use and storage of outside grills. The city of Rowlett Fire Code, modeled after the International Fire Code, restricts the use of BBQ pits operations and storage on outside balconies. 

Here is the actual code as adopted in the community: 

City of Rowlett Code of Ordinances 

“308.1.4 Outdoor cooking. It is unlawful to use, or to store, a charcoal burner, open flame, LP gas burner, outdoor grill, barbecue, or other outdoor cooking appliance with open flame or heat-producing element on the premises of a residential building with three or more attached family dwelling units, or separate family dwelling units two or more stories; or of any multifamily residential building. 

The provision does not apply to the use of permanently mounted outdoor cooking devices located (10) ten or more feet from any structure. 

Exceptions: 1. One- and two-family dwellings, except that LP-gas containers are limited to a water capacity not greater than 50 pounds (22.68 kg) [nominal 20 pounds (9.08 kg) LP-gas capacity] with an aggregate LP-gas capacity not to exceed 100 lbs. (5 containers).”

The code basically restricts all outside cooking on the patios of all multifamily dwellings. Only grills, properly placed by the management companies, are authorized for outside cooking. 

Apartment Managers - use this link here to download a letter suitable for distribution


Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

This section applies to Chiminea and fire pits:

"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. Portable outdoor fireplaces are prohibited in multifamily uses and townhomes that are attached with three or more family units or separate family units more than one story. 

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


Permanent Outdoor Firepit

This section applies to permanent outdoor fireplaces and approved pits.

"307.4.4 Permanent Outdoor Firepit. Permanently installed outdoor firepits for recreational fire purposes shall not be installed within (10) ten feet of a structure or combustible material. 

Exception: Permanently installed outdoor fireplaces constructed in accordance with the International Building Code."


Open Flame 

This Section is related to candles, flame lanterns and heaters.

"308.1.5 Location Near Combustibles. Open flames such as from candles, lanterns, kerosene heaters, and gas-fired heaters shall not be located on or near decorative material or similar combustible materials. In no case are heaters, open flame devices, or heating electrical elements permitted on balconies of multifamily units."