For kids

Kids Safety House

The Kids Safety House is a mobile classroom that provides a hands-on teaching environment. The safety house is transported from school to school throughout the year, and training is provided for children in grades 3 and 4. As a teaching tool, the Kids Safety House prepares children for the unexpected experiences of fires and other emergencies by allowing them to practice survival and lifesavings procedures in non-threatening classroom conditions.

Topics of instruction include emergency preparedness plans; fire alarm and automatic fire sprinkler systems; placing a call to the emergency communications center; tips on how to get out of a burning building; use of an escape ladder; crawling low; feeling a door before opening it; how to escape through a window; and the importance of planning and practicing escape plans.

The Kids Safety House will provide additional instruction in fire and burn prevention strategies in the home. A miniature kitchen, complete with life-like heating and cooking appliances, is provided. Entrances and exits can be made accessible so that all students can participate. Fire protection equipment of all kinds is available to familiarize children with the equipment and to educate them as to the value and effectiveness of built-in fire and life safety systems. A weather alert package, complete with "surround sound," is included to provide instructions on severe weather safety.

The Kids Safety House is operated from a control room that contains artificial smoke machines, heated door controls, lighting and alarm controls, the 911 public safety answering point simulator, and all other aspects of its operation, including complete television monitoring.

Open burning

Iowa City Code Section 6-6-1: Open burning prohibited

No person shall ignite, cause to be ignited, permit to be ignited, allow or maintain any open fire. (1978 Code §24-170)

Iowa City Code Section 6-6-2: Exceptions

  1. Open burning of the following types may be permitted, in compliance with fire department guidelines, with a valid open burning permit from the fire marshal:
    1. Ceremonial Or Controlled Bonfires: Ceremonial or controlled bonfires may be permitted.
    2. Disaster Rubbish: The open burning of rubbish, including landscape waste, may be permitted for the duration of the disaster in cases where an officially declared emergency exists.
    3. Prescribed Agricultural Burns: The open burning of fields may be permitted, if necessary for the maintenance of native prairie grass. "Fields," for the purpose of this chapter, means an open land area more than fifty feet (50') from a building or wooded areas.
    4. Training Fires: Fires set for the purpose of bona fide instruction and training of public, institutional, or industrial employees in the methods of firefighting.
    5. Flare Stacks: Open burning or flaring of waste gas may be permitted.
  2. Open burning for campfires and outdoor cooking is permitted without a burning permit if performed in an approved container constructed of steel, brick, or masonry. (1978 Code §24-171; amd. 1994 Code)
  3. Open burning in portable, outdoor fireplaces is permitted. (Ord. 02-4034, 8-20-2002)

Iowa City Code Section 6-6-3: Penalties

Any violation of this chapter shall be considered a simple misdemeanor or municipal infraction as provided for in Title 1, Chapter 4 of city code. (1994 Code)

Fire pit regulations

Open burning for campfires and outdoor cooking is permitted without any burning permit if performed in an approved container constructed of steel, brick, or masonry. (1978 Code §24-171; amd. 1994 Code)

Open burning in portable, outdoor fireplaces is permitted. (Ord. 02-4034, 8-20-2002)

International Fire Code (2015)—Locally Adopted Amendments

307.1.1 Prohibited Burning
Burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions, or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous, shall be prohibited.

307.1.2 Hours of Operation
A person shall not maintain any outdoor burning from 11 PM to 7 AM, unless permitted and approved by the fire code official.

307.3 Extinguishment Authority
The fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment by the responsible person, or the fire department, of any burning that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

More information

For clarity, a “fire pit” includes below-ground pits, freestanding fireplaces, and portable devices intended to contain and control outdoor fires.

All belowground fire pits shall be at least four inches in depth and shall be surrounded on the outside, aboveground, by a non-combustible material such as steel, brick, or masonry. The fire pit cannot exceed three feet in diameter, nor may the fire pile exceed two feet in height.

Fire pits may be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and these regulations:

  • Only natural firewood/commercial logs may be burned.
    • Burning of lumber, pallets, scrap wood, tree trimmings, leaves, yard waste, paper, cardboard, garbage and similar items is not permitted.
  • All fire pits must be located away from any structure or combustible material.
    • Belowground fire pits and freestanding fireplaces must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
    • Portable fire pits must be located a minimum of 15 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
  • The fire must be constantly attended and supervised until the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • A portable fire extinguisher or other approved extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose, must be readily available.