Sitting comfortably by the campfire or a fireplace in your own garden sounds romantic. But what does the law say when it comes to open fires on your own property?

General caution

When it comes to open fires, whether on your own property or on public property, you generally need to take a few precautions. Because the flames and sparks can have devastating consequences. In very dry weather and with flying sparks, for example, there is a risk that embers will spread throughout the area and a fire will break out that is difficult or even uncontrollable. In order to minimize these risks, you should always pay attention to the following points:

  • Supervision: A fireplace or campfire should always be supervised at all times. Even a short moment is enough for the flames to spread through flying sparks or falling over individual logs.
  • Size: While a large campfire looks impressive, the danger it poses should not be underestimated. Small fireplaces that are easy to control and quickly extinguish are better.
  • Extinguishing: Suitable means of extinguishing the fire on the property should be available both after a cozy round around the campfire and during the burning. Larger amounts of water and fire extinguishers are useful, but sand can also be used.
  • Drought: If the weather is persistently dry and the vegetation in the area is dry, you should refrain from lighting campfires or braziers. The burning of garden waste is then urgently avoided. The risk of flying sparks and rapid spread of the fire is clearly too high in these cases. The spread is often only noticed when several spots are already glowing. This makes erasing much more difficult.
  • Surroundings: If an open fire is planned, the surrounding area should also be considered and controlled. Flammable objects are to be removed. All surfaces that come into contact with the flames must be fireproof.

garden waste

Burning yard waste is a convenient way to get rid of it. When the compost is full or the green waste is not suitable for composting, many garden owners think of this convenient solution. However, burning is generally prohibited and there are only a few exceptions. Anyone who violates this must expect severe fines.

Therefore, the law should be observed in any case and the respective municipality should be asked what is permitted and what is forbidden. You can also ask the fire brigade to find out about the respective regulations.

states and municipalities

In Germany there is no uniform regulation for open fire on one’s own property. Instead, there are differences between the federal states and even at the municipal level. For this reason, the appropriate information should be obtained beforehand, both when setting up a fireplace and for other open fires. Even a building permit may be required.

Suitable contact points for this are:

  • municipal office
  • citizen office
  • Rathaus
  • fire Department

Some information can also be found online on the city or locality’s website. However, there are also differences at the level of the federal states and municipalities.

Alternatives to the campfire

You can use fire bowls and fire baskets to integrate a fireplace into the garden and still maintain safety. These are usually allowed if you use the right fuel. These are wood briquettes and chunky natural wood. If the fire bowl or fire basket is misused, this can also be associated with risks and lead to fines.

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