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Fire Marshal's Office Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am hosting an event and am planning to put up a tent.  Are there requirements I must follow? 

A: If the tent is greater than 900 square feet, you must contact the Fire Marshal's Office for a use permit. The number to call is 703-737-8600. You can also visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal and download the application which will also provide important information.  Tent applications should be submitted no less than 10 business days prior to the event.

Note: Your tent may also require a construction permit. Contact the Department of Building and Development at 703-777-0220 to see if one is required. If you are cooking or serving food, you must also contact the Health Department. The number to call is 703-777-0234. Cooking tents are to be used exclusively for cooking with no seating or serving and must be separated by at least 20 feet from all other tents. More information about planning for special events in Loudoun County is available at Special Events.

Q: I want to display fireworks in my back yard. Are certain fireworks illegal to possess or use?

A: Yes. Any firework that explodes, rises into the air, moves across the ground or shoots projectiles into the air, is illegal to possess in Virginia. These devices include firecrackers, roman candles, pop bottle rockets, as well as shell devices used at public displays. The Fire Marshal's Office recommends that only fireworks sold at retail stands in Loudoun County be used. They may not be used on public property, including streets and roads.  You can also find a list of permissible fireworks, approved vendors, and public displays on our website www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal.

Note: Although it is fairly easy to obtain these items by going across state lines, possession and use of these devices is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2500 fine. Depending on the classification of the device, federal explosives charges could also be imposed for interstate transport.

Q: How far in advance do I need to submit a display fireworks application and plan to the Fire Marshal’s Office?

A: 30 Days prior to the date of the fire works event.

Q: Where can I find a permit application?

A: Application permits can be found by visiting the Loudoun County Fire Marshal website at www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal.  In the left column, select “Code Enforcement”.

Q: When are you allowed to do open burning?

A: Oct 1, 2013 – Feb 14, 2014. For more information about Open Burn Regulations visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal. In the left column, under “Hot Topics” select “Open Burning”.

Q: How do I request a fire safety talk or request a fire engine to attend my event?

A: You can contact the Public Education Manager at 703-737-8093 or .

Q: I am interested in learning more about the smoke alarm and other safety programs, who do I need to contact?

A: Contact the Public Education Manager at 703-737-8093 or .

Q: I live in an apartment and I was told I cannot grill on my balcony. Is there a regulation prohibiting this? 

A: Yes, the use of open flame grills is prohibited if within 15 feet of an apartment building. This includes propane grills as well as charcoal grills. Small electric grills that do not produce an open flame are allowed under the fire code, however, they may be prohibited by the building management company.

Q: I use my propane grill outside and away from the apartment building. Can I store my propane in my apartment or on the deck during the winter? 

A: No. The Statewide Fire Prevention Code prohibits the storage of propane tanks within 10 feet of an apartment building.

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