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Our Mission

To serve the community by protecting life, property and the environment; by providing fire safety education, inspections, suppression, investigations, emergency medical support, disaster response and hazardous materials mitigation. We will give the highest level of service possible with the level of resources provided to this department, in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. It is the residents of Berlin Township who ultimately determine the level of service we are able to provide and with a pro-active attitude we will continually evaluate this service to enable us to change with the needs of our community.

Stay Connected!
Residents can stay connected with Fire through Berlin Township Fire Union Facebook page.
There is also the general Fire Department Facebook page.


Partnering with Delaware County EMS, Medic 10 was assigned to Berlin Township Fire Station 390 in 2004. A joint co-operation agreement provides our residents with a 24 hour per day, seven days a week Paramedic service at no cost to our residents. Medic10 responds with the Berlin Township Fire Department on all fire and rescue related emergencies within our jurisdiction and to mutual aid emergencies if requested.

berlin-logo-fd-sm-e1501680298258Berlin Township Fire Dept.
Station 390
2708 Lackey Old State Rd.
Delaware, Ohio 43015

Chief Mosher

Lt. Steve Arnold - Fire Prevention

Lt. Craig Hall – Fire Prevention

Fire Prevention Information

The Berlin Township Fire Department encourages the use of the KNOX-BOX. Presently many homes and businesses in the Township are making use of this Emergency Entry System. Starting at $159 this one time purchase may save the business or home owner much more and allow the Firefighters instant access to the property.


Ten Reasons to Install a KNOX-BOX

  • Eliminate needless, costly forced entry damage that may not be covered by your insurance deductible.
  • Assure immediate building entry by Firefighters without delay or waiting for building keys.
  • Protect inventory, equipment and supplies from unnecessary water damage caused by delayed sprinkler shut-off.
  • Satisfy local fire codes and emergency access ordinances.
  • Save time and aggravation by not having to drive to your building at 2:00 a.m. for a false alarm.
  • Feel secure about emergency coverage when your building is left unattended. The Fire Department holds the ONLY key to the KNOX-BOX.
  • Maintain building security after a fire alarm investigation by simply re-locking the undamaged door.
  • Protect your property from thousands of dollars in damage with this one-time, low cost investment.
  • Depend on the highest lock box security available with attack resistant, UL tested reliability.
  • Over the last 25 years, KNOX-BOX has been the chosen solution in 6,000 communities nationwide-communities like Berlin Township!



It’s a high-security box system, designed to give firefighters and emergency services immediate access to locked buildings, elevators, and other secured areas.


Installation of a Knox Box on your property will not only allow firefighters faster access in case of an emergency, but will also prevent expensive forcible entry should emergency services be required while the premises are unoccupied. Costly front doors and entry ways needn’t be harmed if entry keys are available on-site!


Following your purchase of a Knox Box from the factory, you will mount it securely on the exterior of your building; attractive recessed-mount models are available. All necessary access keys will be locked inside by a representative of the fire department; only the fire department’s master key can open the box.

The Knox Box gives the fire department a simple alternative to expensive, time-consuming forcible entry. The generous interior capacity allows you to store everything emergency personnel may require–keys, floor plans, electronic entry cards, and more–in complete security until needed.


Security has always been a Knox strong point. Designed for maximum protection, each virtually indestructible box features a special high-security Medeco lock and key. This Medeco restricted locking system guards against unauthorized key duplication. Keys aren’t even available to locksmiths or lock distributors–only The Knox Company can supply these keys!The Knox Box system offers maximum security at every step. Each city has an exclusive key code. All Knox Box stations in that city are keyed alike–and only the fire department has master keys.


Strict security control is maintained by allowing only fire departments to authorize the purchase of each Knox Box. This is achieved by using a special authorization form which you can obtain only from your fire department; the form must be signed by a fire department official whose signature is on file at the factory. After verifying the signature, the Knox box is shipped directly to you. Each Knox Box is shipped without keys, locked in an open position and ready for mounting.


Each Knox Box is shipped with complete mounting instructions; however, your fire department will assist you in choosing a proper location for mounting. After installation is completed, the fire department will conduct an inspection of the installation and lock building keys inside the box. As soon as building keys are locked inside the box, it is ready to provide immediate access to emergency personnel– 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information about the use of the KNOX-BOX in Berlin Township contact us at 740-548-6031.
Recovering from a fire may take a long time and many of the things you have to do will be new to you.

after-the-fire-heroInsurance Information

If you are insured, your insurance will be the most important single component in recovering from a fire loss. A number of coverages are available such as – homeowner’s, tenant’s or condominium owner’s insurance policies.

Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurer. The insurer promises to do certain things for you. In turn, you have certain obligations. Among your duties after a fire loss would be to give immediate notice of the loss to the insurance company or the insurer’s agent.

Protect the property from further damage by making sensible or necessary repairs such as covering holes in the roof or walls. Take reasonable precautions against loss, such as draining water lines in winter if the house will be unheated for some time. The insurance company may refuse to pay losses that occur from not taking such reasonable care.

Make an inventory of damaged personal property showing in detail the quantity, description, original purchase price, purchase date, damage estimate and replacement cost.

Cooperate with the insurer or his/her adjuster by exhibiting the damaged property.

Submit, within a stated time period (usually 30 – 60 days), a formal statement of loss. Such a statement should include:

  • The time and cause of loss
  • The names and addresses of those who have an interest in the property. These might include the mortgage holder, a separated or divorced spouse or a lien holder.
  • Building plans and specifications of the original home and a detailed estimate for repairs.
  • The damage inventory mentioned above.
  • Receipts for additional living expenses and loss of use claims.

Valuing Your Property

A pre-fire inventory along with a videotape of all your property could prove to be a valuable record when making your claim.
When adjusting your fire loss or in claiming a casualty loss on your Federal income tax, you will have to deal with various viewpoints on the value of your property. Some terms used are listed below:

  • Your “personal valuation” is your attachment to and personal valuation of your property lost in a fire. Personal items have a certain sentimental value. This term is not meant to belittle their value to you but is used to separate feelings about the value from objective measures of value. It will be objective measures of value which you, the insurer, and the Internal Revenue Service will use as a common ground.
  • The “cost when purchased” is an important element in establishing an item’s final value. Receipts will help verify the cost price.
  • Fair market value before the fire also is expressed as “actual cash value.” This is what you could have gotten for the item if you had sold it the day before the fire. Its price would reflect its cost at purchase and the wear it had sustained since then. Depreciation is the formal term to express the amount of value an item loses over a period of time.
  • “Value after the fire” is sometimes called the item’s “salvage value.”
  • The cost to replace the item with a like, but not necessarily identical, item is the replacement cost.

Adjusting the Loss

“Loss adjustment” is the process of establishing the value of the damaged property. This is the result of a joint effort among a number of parties. Basic parties to the process are the owner or occupant and the insurance company and its representatives.

The owner or occupant is required by the insurance contract to prepare an inventory and cooperate in the loss valuation process. An insurance agent may act as the adjuster if the loss is small. The insurer may send an adjuster who is a permanent member of the insurer’s staff, or the company may hire an independent adjuster to act in its behalf. It is the insurance adjuster’s job, as a representative of the insurance company, to monitor and assist in the loss valuation process and to bring the loss to a just and equitable settlement.

Either you or the insurer may hire the services of a fire damage restoration firm or fire damage service company. These firms provide a range of services that may include some or all of the following:

  • Securing the site against further damage
  • Estimating structural damage
  • Repairing structural damage
  • Estimating the cost to repair or renew items of personal property
  • Packing, transportation, and storage of household items
  • Securing appropriate cleaning or repair subcontractors
  • Storing repaired items until needed

It is important to coordinate with the insurance adjuster before contracting for any services. If you invade the insurer’s responsibility area by contracting without its knowledge or consent, you may be left with bills to pay that otherwise would have been covered by the insurer.

Replacement of Valuable Documents and Records


  • Driver’s license – Local department of motor vehicles
  • Bank books – Your bank, as soon as possible
  • Insurance policies – Your insurance agent
  • Military discharge papers – Local Veterans Administration
  • Passports – Local passport office
  • Birth, death, marriage Certificates – State Bureau of Records in the state of birth, death or marriage
  • Divorce papers – Circuit Court where decree was issued
  • Social Security or Medicare cards – Local Social Security Office
  • Credit Cards – The issuing companies, as soon as possible
  • Titles to deeds – Records department of city or county in which the property is located
  • Stocks and bonds – Issuing company or your broker
  • Wills – Your lawyer
  • Medical records – Your doctor
  • Warranties – Issuing company
  • Income tax records – The Internal Revenue Service Center
  • Auto registration title – Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Citizenship papers – The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • Prepaid burial contracts – Issuing company
  • Animal registration papers – Society of registry

Salvage Hints

  • Clothing – Smoke odor and soot sometimes can be washed from clothing. The following formula often will work for clothing that can be bleached:
    • 4-6 tbsp. of Tri-Sodium Phosphate
    • l cup Lysol or any household chlorine bleach
    • l gallon warm water
    • Mix well, add clothes, rinse with clear water and dry well.Be aware that Tri-Sodium Phosphate is a caustic substance used as a cleaning agent. It should be used with care and stored out of reach of children and pets. Wear rubber gloves when using it. Read the label carefully. To remove mildew, wash the fresh stain with soap and warm water. Then rinse and dry in sun. If the stain has not disappeared, use lemon juice and salt, or a diluted solution of household chlorine bleach.
  • Cooking Utensils – Your pots, pans, flatware, etc., should be washed with soapy water, rinsed and then polished with a fine-powdered cleaner. You can polish copper and brass with special polish, salt sprinkled on a piece of lemon or salt sprinkled on a cloth saturated with vinegar.
  • Electrical Appliances – Appliances that have been exposed to water or steam should not be used until you have a service representative check them. This is especially true of electrical appliances. In addition, steam can remove the lubricant from some moving parts. If the fire department turned off your gas or power during the fire, call the electric or gas company to restore these services – DO NOT TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF.
  • Food – Wash your canned goods in detergent and water. Do the same for food in jars. If labels come off, be sure you mark the contents on the can or jar with a grease pencil. Do not use canned goods when cans have bulged or are dented or rusted.If your home freezer has stopped running, you still can save the frozen food. Keep the freezer closed. Your freezer has enough insulation to keep food frozen for at least one day – perhaps for as many as two or three days. Move your food to a neighbor’s freezer or a rented locker. Wrap the frozen food in newspapers and blankets or use insulated boxes. Do not re-freeze food that has thawed.To remove odor from your refrigerator or freezer, wash the inside with a solution of baking soda and water, or use one cup of vinegar or household ammonia to one gallon of water. Some baking soda in an open container, or a piece of charcoal can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb odor.
  • Flooring and Rugs – When water gets underneath linoleum, it can cause odors and warp the wood floor. If this happens, remove the entire sheet. If the linoleum is brittle, a heat lamp will soften it so it can be rolled up without breaking. If carefully removed, it can be re-cemented after the floor has completely dried. Small blisters in linoleum can be punctured with a nail and re-cemented if you are careful. Dilute regular linoleum paste thin enough to go through a hand syringe and shoot adhesive through the nail hole. Weigh down the linoleum with bricks or boards. It usually is possible to cement loose tiles of any type. Wait until the floor is completely dry before beginning.Rugs and carpets also should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Throw rugs then can be cleaned by beating, sweeping or vacuuming, and then shampooing. Rugs should be dried as quickly as possible. Lay them flat, and expose them to a circulation of warm, dry air. A fan turned on the rugs will speed drying. Make sure the rugs are thoroughly dry. Even though the surface seems dry, moisture remaining at the base of the tufts can quickly rot a rug. For information on cleaning and preserving carpets, call your carpet dealer or installer or qualified carpet cleaning professional.
  • Mattresses and Pillows – Reconditioning an innerspring mattress at home is very difficult, if not impossible. Your mattress may be able to be renovated by a company that builds or repairs mattresses. If you must use your mattress temporarily, put it out into the sun to dry. Then cover it with rubber or plastic sheeting. It is almost impossible to get smoke odor out of pillows. The feathers and foam retain the odor.
  • Leather and Books – Wipe leather goods with a damp cloth, then a dry cloth. Stuff purses and shoes with newspapers to retain shape. Leave suitcases open. Leather goods should be dried away from heat and sun. When leather goods are dry, clean with saddle soap. You can use steel wool or a suede brush on suede. Rinse leather and suede jackets in cold weather and dry away from heat and sun.Wet books must be taken care of as soon as possible. The best methods to save wet books is to freeze them in a vacuum freezer. This special freezer will remove the moisture without damaging the pages.If there will be a delay in locating such a freezer, place them in a normal freezer until a vacuum freezer can be located.
  • Locks and Hinges – Locks (especially iron locks) should be taken apart, wiped with kerosene and oiled. If locks cannot be removed, squirt machine oil through a bolt opening or keyhole, and work the knob to distribute the oil. Hinges also should be thoroughly cleaned and oiled.
  • Walls and Furniture – To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, mix together:– 4 to 6 tbsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate
    • 1 cup Lysol or any chloride bleach
    • 1 gallon warm waterWear rubber gloves when cleaning. After washing the article, rinse with clear warm water and dry thoroughly.Walls may be washed down while wet. Use a mild soap or detergent. Wash a small area at one time, working from the floor up. Then rinse the wall with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. Do not repaint until the walls and ceilings are completely dry.Wallpaper also can be repaired. Use a commercial paste to repaste loose edges or sections. Contact your wallpaper dealer or installer for information on wallpaper cleaners. Washable wallpaper can be washed like an ordinary wall, but care must be taken not to soak the paper. Work from bottom to top to prevent streaking.Do not dry your furniture in the sun. The wood will warp and twist out of shape. Clear off the mud and dirt by scrubbing with a stiff brush and a cleaning solution. You can also rub the wood surface with a 4/0 steel wool pad dipped in liquid polishing wax, wipe with a soft cloth and then buff. Remove the drawers and let them dry thoroughly so there will be no sticking when you replace them. Wet wood can decay and mold, so allow it to dry thoroughly. Open doors and windows for good ventilation. Turn on your furnace or air conditioner, if necessary. If mold forms, wipe the wood with a cloth soaked in a mixture of borax dissolved in hot water. To remove white spots or film, rub the wood surface with a cloth soaked in a solution of a half cup of household ammonia and a half cup of water. Wipe dry and polish with wax, or rub the surface with a cloth soaked in a solution of a half cup turpentine and a half cup of linseed oil. Be careful because turpentine is combustible.
  • Money Replacement – Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt to encase each bill or portion of a bill in plastic wrap for preservation. If money is only half-burned or less (if half or more of the bill is intact), you can take the remainder to your local Federal Reserve Bank for replacement. Ask your personal bank for the nearest one. Or you can mail the burned or torn money via FIRST CLASS REGISTERED MAIL to:
U.S. Treasury Department
Main Treasury Building, Room 1123
Washington, D.C. 20220

Mutilated or melted coins can be taken to the Federal Reserve Bank, or mailed via FIRST CLASS REGISTERED MAIL to:
Superintendent, U.S. Assay Office
32 Old Slip
New York, NY 10005

If your U.S. Savings Bonds have been mutilated or destroyed, write to:
U.S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Public Debt
Division of Loans and Currency
537 South Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60605
Attn: Bond Consultant

Include name(s) on bonds, approximate date or time period when purchased, denominations and
  • For minimum protection, install a smoke detector outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in your home. Keep your bedroom doors closed while you are asleep. Better, install detectors on every level of your home.
  • Keep your smoke detectors properly maintained. Test them once a week to ensure that the detectors are working properly. Every Spring and Fall when you change your clocks, remember to change your smoke alarm batteries. Use only the type of batteries recommended on the detector.
  • If your smoke detector sounds an alarm when no smoke is present, it may be defective or it might have a low battery. If smoke from cooking materials causes the detector to sound an alarm, do not remove the batteries or disconnect the power source. Simply fan the smoke away from the detector until the alarm stops. If this happens frequently, it may be necessary to relocate the detector or install a different type of detector.
  • Develop an escape plan and review the plan with all members of the family frequently. Be aware that children and elderly people may need special assistance should a fire occur. Establish a meeting place outside the house for all members of the family to ensure that everyone gets out safely. When fire occurs, get out of the house and use a neighbor’s telephone to notify the Fire Department

The Berlin Township Fire Department’s Smoke Detector program is designed to assist our residents with the installation and inspection of their residential detectors. If you would like us to assist you with testing or battery replacement of your smoke detectors please call for an appointment at (740) 548-6031.

Carbon Monoxide detectors can be of great benefit to the safety of the occupants of any structure. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends installing at least one carbon monoxide detector in each home. The Berlin Township Fire Department recommends that you place a detector on each floor including basements. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless odorless gas that is a product of any combustion process. Relatively low concentrations of this gas can cause serious health risks, and even death. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental deaths by poisoning, and is responsible for over 1500 deaths and 10,000 illnesses per year. Symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells and confusion.

The key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning is early detection of dangerous levels of the gas by a carbon monoxide detector. However, the carbon monoxide detector is in no way a replacement for smoke detectors. It is a separate detector used to supplement your home safety.

Procedure if an alarm sounds: If anyone has a headache, upset stomach, or other symptoms: call 9-1-1 immediately and move to a location which has fresh air.


If no one exhibits symptoms of discomfort associated with carbon monoxide poisoning, simply;

  • Operate reset button
  • Turn off appliances, vehicle, or other sources of combustion at once (furnace, water heater, wood burning stove, RV, automobile, etc)
  • Get fresh air into premises
  • Call a qualified technician and have the problem fixed before re-starting appliances

Although there needs to be an urgency about a detector sounding, it is important to realize that these detectors activate at minimal concentrations. A sounding carbon monoxide detector does not indicate an immediate emergency unless there are people experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Contacts: For additional information concerning carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide detectors or Fire Department response procedures please feel free to contact the Berlin Township Fire Department at (740) 548-6031
Everybody has seen fire extinguishers. Many people have them in their car, at home or at work. But not everyone understands them or knows how to work them. The Berlin Township Department would like for you to have a working knowledge of fire extinguishers. It could save your life or those whom you love.

Fire extinguishers are not designed to fight a large or spreading fire. Even against small fires, they are useful only under the right conditions.

An extinguisher must be large enough for the fire at hand. It must be available and in working order, fully charged. The operator should be familiar with the extinguisher so it won’t be necessary to read directions during an emergency.

fire-extinguisher-heroPurchase Extinguishers Carefully

A fire extinguisher should be “listed” and “labeled” by an independent testing laboratory such as FM (Factory Mutual) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory).

The higher the rating number on an A or B fire extinguisher, the more fire it can put out, but high-rated units are often the heavier models. Make sure you can hold and operate the extinguisher you are buying.

Remember that extinguishers need care and must be recharged after every use. Ask the dealer about the extinguisher and how it should be serviced and inspected. A partially used unit might as well be empty.

You may need more than one extinguisher in your home. For example, you may want an extinguisher in the kitchen as well as one in the garage or workshop. Each extinguisher should be installed in plain view near an escape route and away from potential fire hazards such as heating appliances.

Types of Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are labeled according to the type of fire on which they may be used. Fires involving wood or cloth, flammable liquids, electrical, or metal sources react differently to extinguishers. Using one type of extinguisher on the wrong type of fire could be dangerous and make matters even worse.

Traditionally, the labels A,B, C or D have been used to indicate the type of fire on which an extinguisher is to be used.

Type A Label


A Type A label is in a triangle on the extinguisher. This extinguisher is used for ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber and many plastics. These types of fire usually leave ashes after they burn. Type A extinguishers for Ashes.

Type B Label

A Type B label is in a square on the extinguisher. This extinguisher is used for flammable liquid fires such as oil, gasoline, paints, lacquers, grease, and solvents. These substances often come in barrels. Type B extinguishers for Barrels.

Type C Label

A Type C label is in a circle on the extinguisher. This extinguisher is used for electrical fires such as in wiring, fuse boxes, energized electrical equipment and other electrical sources. Electricity travels in currents. Type C extinguishers for Currents.

Type D Label

A Type D label is in a star on the extinguisher. This extinguisher is used for metal fires such as magnesium, titanium and sodium. These types of fire are very dangerous and seldom handled by the general public. Type D for Don’t get involved.


Recently, pictograms have come into use on fire extinguishers. These picture the type of fire on which an extinguisher is to be used. For instance, a Type A extinguisher has a pictogram showing burning wood. A Type C extinguisher has a pictogram showing an electrical cord and outlet. These pictograms are also used to show what not to use. For example, a Type A extinguisher will show a pictogram of an electrical cord and outlet with a big slash through it. In other words, don’t use it on an electrical fire.

Number Rating

Fire extinguishers also have a number rating. For Type A fires, a 1 would stand for 1 1/4 gallons of water, a 2 would represent 2 1/2 gallons, 3 would be 3 3/4 gallons of water, etc. For Type B and Type C fire, the number represents square feet. For example, 2 would be two square feet, 5 is five square feet, etc.

Fire extinguishers can also be made to extinguish more than one type of fire. For example, you might have an extinguisher with a label that reads 2A5B. This would mean this extinguisher is good for Type A fires with a 2 1/2 gallon equivalence and it is also good for Type B fires with a 5 square feet equivalency. A good extinguisher to have in each residential kitchen is a 2A10BC fire extinguisher. You might also get a Type A for the living room and bedrooms and an ABC for the basement and garage.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

There is a simple acronym to remember to operate most fire extinguishers – PASS. PASS stands for Pull,Aim,Squeeze and Sweep.

  • Pull the pin at the top of the cylinder. Some units require the releasing of a lock latch or pressing a puncture lever.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze or press the handle.
  • Sweep the contents from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.

Shut off the extinguisher and then watch carefully for a rekindling of the fire.

When to Fight a Fire

You should fight a fire with a fire extinguisher only when all the following are true:

  • Everyone has left or is leaving the building.
  • The fire department has been called.
  • The fire is small and confined to the immediate areas where it started such as in a wastebasket, cushion, small appliance, stove, etc.
  • You can fight the fire with your back to a safe escape route.
  • Your extinguisher is rated for the type of fire you are fighting and is in good working order.
  • You have had training in use of the extinguisher and are confident that you can operate it effectively.

Remember, if you have the slightest doubt about whether or not to fight the fire – DON’T. Instead, get out, closing the door behind you to slow the spread of the fire. You have one of the best fire departments in the world standing by ready to protect you. Let the professionals do their job.
Instituting a home fire escape plan is one of the most important actions that you can take to protect your life, and the lives of your loved ones. The Berlin Township Fire Department urges you to develop and practice a fire escape plan for your home. If you have any questions on how to create a Fire Escape Plan, please call the Berlin Township Fire Department at: 740-548-6031

fire-escape-planHow to Develop a Fire Escape Plan:

  • Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home and test them regularly.
  • Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room.
  • Where possible, plan a main exit route and an alternate exit route from each room.
  • Make certain that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke detector, or hear someone shouting “FIRE”, they should immediately evacuate the home.
  • Decide on a meeting place. Someone should be sent to phone the fire department.
  • Meet the firefighters when they arrive, so they know that you are safe.
  • Make certain that everyone in your home knows not to re-enter a burning building. Firefighters are properly equipped and trained to perform rescue operations, you are not.

Practice Your Escape Plan!

Regular practice is the best way to help prevent PANIC when an actual emergency occurs. Be sure that every member of the family knows what to do.

Additional Information:

  • Before opening any door on the way out, feel it. If the door is hot – do not open it! – use the alternate exit. If windows in upper storey rooms can’t serve as alternate exits, open the window and shout for help.
  • A properly installed and maintained smoke detector should provide enough warning to enable you to safely leave your home, even if there is no alternate exit available.
  • In a smoke filled area, the cool air is down low. Practice your escape plan by crawling on your hands and knees.
  • If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by the building management.
  • If there is anyone in your home not able to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them.
  • Make sure your babysitter understands your fire escape plan

Ohio EPA
Lazarus Government Center
122 S. Front St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

When you burn trash outdoors, the potential cost to your health, your home, your neighbors, and your environment far exceeds the price of adequate collection services. Protect yourself, your neighbors, and your wallet by knowing the rules–what you can burn and where. And remember, there are alternatives to open burning.

What does Ohio EPA consider “open burning”?

You are open burning any time you light an outdoor fire. In the past, many materials–including leaves, tree trimmings, tires, and construction debris–were routinely burned outdoors.

Why do Ohio’s laws prohibit so many kinds of open burning?

Depending upon the material being burned, open fires can release many kinds of toxic fumes. Leaves and plant materials send aloft millions of spores when they catch fire, causing many people with allergies to have difficulty breathing. The pollutants released by open burning also make it more difficult to attain, or maintain, health-based air quality standards, especially in or near the major metropolitan centers. The gases released by open burning can also harm neighboring buildings by corroding metal siding and damaging paint. Besides, open burning is not a very efficient way to get rid of wastes since open fires do not get hot enough to burn the materials completely.

What materials can never be burned?

Some materials may not be burned anywhere in the state at any time. These are:

  • materials containing rubber, grease, and asphalt or made from petroleum, such as tires, cars and auto parts, plastics, or plastic-coated wire
  • garbage – any wastes created in the process of handling, preparing, cooking, or consumption of food
  • dead animals

Where is Burning Illegal?

With a few exceptions, open burning is not permitted in a restricted area. Restricted areas include:

  • within the boundaries of any municipal corporation
  • within corporation limits and a l,000-foot zone outside any municipal corporation having a population of 1,000 to 10,000
  • within corporation limits and a one-mile zone outside any municipal corporation with a population of more than 10,000

What types of open burning are permitted anywhere?

A few types of open burning are permitted everywhere, even in restricted areas. Fires must be kept to a minimum size for their intended purpose, and shall not be used for waste disposal purposes.

Within a Restricted Area

Permitted burning includes:

  • cooking for human consumption (barbecues, campfires, cookouts)
  • heating tar
  • welding and acetylene torches
  • smudge pots and similar occupational needs
  • heating for warmth of outdoor workers and strikers. Use common sense: use only clean wood and restrict the size of the fire so it can be contained in a 55-gallon drum

By notifying Ohio EPA in advance, ceremonial fires can be set for limited periods of time. Fires must be limited in size to 5 feet by 5 feet and may not burn for more than three hours.

Under certain circumstances, fires set to train firefighters, to dispose of certain ignitable or explosive materials, or to dispose of poisons such as pesticides and their containers are allowed WITH PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM OHIO EPA. Recognized horticultural, silvicultural, range, or wildlife management practices, involving burning, also are allowed with prior written permission from Ohio EPA. This permission may take two weeks to obtain.

Ohio EPA is represented by five district offices and nine local air agencies.

Fires intended to control disease or pests may be set if the local health department, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture verifies to Ohio EPA that open burning is the only appropriate control methods.

Outside a Restricted Area

Outside a restricted area, the following types of wastes generated on the premises can be burned:

  • Agricultural wastes: material generated by crop, horticultural, or livestock production practices. This includes fence posts and scrap lumber but not buildings.
  • Landscape wastes: plant matter such as tree trimmings, branches, stumps, brush, weeds, leaves, grass, shrubbery, yard trimmings, and crop residues.
  • Land-clearing wastes: plant matter which is removed when land is cleared for residential, commercial, or industrial development. This material may be burned only under certain circumstances and WITH PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM OHIO EPA.
  • Residential waste: wastes such as wood or paper products that are generated by one-, two-, or three- family residences. Garbage may not be open burned.

However, no open burning can take place within 1,000 feet of an inhabited building located off the property where the fire is set. Nor can the fire obscure visibility for roadways, railroad tracks, or air fields.

No wastes generated off the premises may be burned. For example, a tree-trimming contractor may not haul branches and limbs to another site to burn them.

Open burning is prohibited when air pollution warnings, alerts, or emergencies are in effect.

Does Ohio EPA ever allow exceptions to the rules?

Under certain circumstances, yes. However, to burn a prohibited material or set a fire in a restricted area, YOU MUST RECEIVE WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM OHIO EPA BEFORE YOU BEGIN BURNING.

Can a community enact local ordinances to allow open burning?

Local ordinances cannot be less strict than the state law described in this pamphlet. They can be more strict, however.

What will happen to me if I’m caught illegally open burning?

Ohio EPA has the legal authority to enforce the open burning laws. Violations can result in substantial penalties. If you have any questions, or would like to report a suspected open burning incident, contact your Ohio EPA district office or your local air pollution control agency. The accompanying map indicates the agency to call for your county.

For a complete copy of Ohio’s open burning regulations, contact:
Division of Air Pollution Control
Ohio EPA
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049