Fire Prevention

Where can I read up on the Mount Laurel Township Fire Prevention Fire Codes and Ordinances?

You can find the full Mount Laurel Township Fire Ordinances at https://www.ecode360.com/38637062 or by CLICKING HERE.

I’m thinking of putting in a fire pit. What are the guidelines for doing this safely?

No permit is needed for fire pits and containers that are on owner occupied private residential property. If you belong to an association, always check with your association to see what is permitted in your area.

The following are recommendations to be adhered to :

Fire Pits

  • Fire Pit must be no more than 3 ft wide and 2 ft high.
  • Fire Pit fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of all structure, combustible materials, combustible vegetation and property lines.
  • Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  • Can only burn wood – no trash
  • Fire is for pleasure, heating, cooking, or ceremonial purposes
  • Fire can be shut down by agency having jurisdiction (FD) for the following reasons:
    • If we get a complaint about smoke bothering neighbors
    • If FD determines it is an unsafe condition
    • If forestry service has determined drought conditions
    • Chimineas are considered recreational and fall into the category of backyard fire.

Fire in approved containers. Chimineas and other small manufactured containers.

Approved containers are defined as Chimineas and other small manufactured containers designed and built for its specific use.

Follow all manufacturer guidelines, specifications, and clearances for the approved container. In general, all small approved containers shall be a minimum of 15 feet from all structure, combustible materials, combustible vegetation and property lines.

For more information on the Mount Laurel Township Outdoor Fires Fire Code, CLICK HERE.

I live in a multi-family dwelling and have been told that I cannot use my barbecue grill on my deck or patio. Why?

Barbecue grills, whether charcoal or propane fired, are a serious hazard when not used or stored properly. Many people have neglected to monitor them while cooking and whole blocks of apartment units have burned to the ground as a result. Barbecue grills can be very safe when used or stored properly. Local amendments to the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code specifically prohibit the use or storage of open flame cooking units (outside of the kitchen area) in multi-family dwelling units. You are correct that you cannot use any barbecue grill that cooks through the use of an open flame on your balcony or covered overhang because you live in a “multi-family dwelling”. Neglect or improper use of your barbecue grill could result in damage to your home as well as your neighbors homes in your building. Please understand that neither the fire department nor the fire code says that occupants of multi-family dwellings cannot own or operate barbecue grills. They are permitted to own and use them, provided that the grills are operated and stored at least 15 feet from the building. Using grills at least 15 feet from the building significantly lessens the potential for a major fire to occur as well as the potential for significant property damage. Apartment and condominium complexes may have addressed this matter through the creation of specific areas in the community where barbecue grills can be safely used and stored.

I’ve heard a lot about carbon monoxide alarms. Are they really worth having?

Yes, carbon monoxide alarms are worth having because they could save your life! Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is created during the combustion process. Combustion occurs when your oil or gas furnace comes on to heat your house. Combustion occurs when you operate your fireplace, gas range in the kitchen or your gas hot water heater. If these devices are not properly cleaned or the combustion by-products are not properly vented, they could build up in the house and you might not know it. This could be especially deadly at night when everyone is asleep. To prevent poisoning by carbon monoxide gas, one carbon monoxide alarm should be placed within 10′ of sleeping areas. A second one is recommended in the area of the oil or gas furnace to afford additional protection. Although more expensive than smoke detectors, they are well worth the money.

I have a fire extinguisher in my home, but I am unsure if it still works. What do I do?

Most fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge at the top of the cylinder near the handle. Check the gauge to determine whether the extinguisher is in the range between “recharge” or “overcharged”. It is not cost effective to recharge most home fire extinguishers due to the cost of recharging. It may be more cost effective to dispose of the old fire extinguisher and replace it with a new one.

Do I really need smoke alarms in my home?

YES. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly located and maintained smoke alarms in the home. Without a doubt, they are the simplest, cheapest and most cost effective way to provide early warning against fire. Smoke alarms have been required by law since the early 1970’s in all new homes built in the State of New Jersey. Requirements for the type, location and number of smoke alarms have changed over the years. All smoke alarms within the dwelling unit must be installed and maintained in accordance with NFPA 74. All AC powered smoke alarms must be audibly inter-connected. Each level of the dwelling unit and within 10 feet of each sleeping area is required to have either an AC or a DC powered smoke alarm installed. The table below provides you with the requirements of the Construction Code regarding the number of and type of smoke alarms that are required based on the year the dwelling unit was built and that the dwelling unit must meet the new requirements of the Code. (detectors on each level)

Pre 1975 – battery powered smoke alarm on any level
1975-1977 – electric powered on uppermost level
1977-1983 – electric powered smoke alarm on uppermost and basement level (if applicable)
1983-1991 – electric powered smoke alarm on all levels
1991-present – electric powered smoke alarm with a backup battery powered smoke detector on each level and in each sleeping area.

During residential smoke alarm inspections, inspectors will be enforcing Mount Laurel Township Local Ordinance 1985-12, Chapter 81, Section 81-24, which states that all smoke alarms must be less than 10 years old. Remember that the easiest way to maintain your smoke alarms is to test them when you change the battery each fall when you “Change Your Clock, Change your Battery“.

I am selling or leasing my home. What do I need to pass my SDC for selling/renting my property and how can I obtain the required “smoke detector certification”?

A certificate of Smoke Alarm Compliance is required at the change of ownership or occupancy for residential properties. It is very easy to obtain the required “smoke alarm certification” or “Certificate of Smoke Alarm Compliance” as it is referred to in the Code. You will need:

  • properly working smoke alarms that are properly placed according to the year of construction and less than 10 years old;
  • all electric smoke alarms installed after 1977 must be interconnected;
  • a carbon monoxide alarm within 10 feet of every sleeping area;
  • a 2A:10BC fire extinguisher installed in or within 10 feet of the kitchen.

The Bureau of Fire Prevention conducts Certificate of Smoke Alarm Compliance inspections each Wednesday by appointment only. In order to make an appointment, you or your representative must follow the instructions in the Application Packet and pay a fee. (exact change, check or charge). Applications are accepted in person or scheduled on our website. Go to “Inspections and Forms”, then “Smokes”. Office hours are Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The appointment for the inspection is made at the time the application and payment are made. You will need the following information in order to complete the application: the buyers’ name, the sellers’ or lessors’ name, the address of the property, the settlement date/move-in date and the year that the home was built. All this information should be available on the agreement of sale or from your most recent tax statement. Please make sure you meet ALL the requirements listed in the application prior to your appointment. Any items that are not met will result in a failure. In this case, you will have to make and pay for another appointment. PLEASE READ YOUR APPLICATION CAREFULLY!

General Information

Change Your Batteries

Don’t forget to change your smoke detector battery when you change your clocks for the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Operation Save-A-Life

In cooperation with Channel 6, Kidde, The Home Depot and Toyota, we are proud to offer smoke detectors at no charge to you to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe!

Business Hours

Our administrative offices are open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. We are closed daily from 12 noon to 1pm. Please plan accordingly for office business.

Would you like a tour of a firehouse or for us to participate in an event?

Just put your request in writing. Make sure you include the following:

  • your contact information
  • date of your event
  • type of event
  • the number of people attending
  • location of your event
  • any special requests for your event

Then address it and mail it to: Mount Laurel Fire Department
Attention: Todd Evans
69 Elbo Lane
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

Would you like to request the use of one of our facilities?

Just fill out a Facilities Request Form and submit it to us for approval. Be aware that our facilities can only be used for township community type events, i.e. meetings, blood drives, etc.