Fire and Rescue Services FAQ

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Can I have a fire pit or BBQ at my home?


 The following information covers general precautions against fire, as it pertains to open flame and outdoor cooking device use in Ocean City, in accordance with the International Fire Code 2015: New Jersey Edition and the NJ Uniform Fire Code:


308.1 General.  Open flame, fire and burning on all premises shall be in accordance with Sections 308.1.1 through 308.4.1 and with other applicable sections of this code. (IFC 2015, NJ Edition)

308.1.4 Open-flame cooking devices and outdoor fireplaces.  Charcoal burners, other open-flame cooking devices and outdoor fireplaces shall not be operated or stored on combustible balconies or decks or within 5 feet of combustible construction.


  1. One- and two- family dwellings.
  2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  3. LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 2½ pounds [nominal 1-pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].

308.1.4.1 Liquefied-petroleum-gas-fueled cooking devices. Portable LP-gas cooking equipment such as barbecue grills and outdoor fireplaces shall not be stored or used:

  1. On any porch, balcony, deck or any other portion of a building;
  2. Within any room or space of a building;

  3. Within five (5) feet of any combustible exterior wall;
  4. Within five (5) feet, vertically or horizontally, of an opening in any wall; or
  5. Under any building overhang.

        Exception: Detached owner-occupied one- and two- family dwellings.

Rules for Fire Pits - Open Burning.  There are multiple rules regarding fire pits in the State of New Jersey depending upon the fuel the pit burns, the size of the container the fire is in, and whether or not the fireplace structure is permanent and approved. Permanent masonry outdoor fireplaces are regulated by local zoning and NJ Uniform Construction Code (UCC) requirements and need a permit prior to construction. Natural gas fueled fire bowls and log sets are also regulated by local zoning laws and the UCC. Citronella candles and other types of small tableā€top candles are permitted, but adequate clearances should be maintained to combustibles. 

All other forms of open burning are regulated by the NJ Uniform Fire Code (UFC) and enforced by NJ State Fire Marshal’s Office. Open burning of any kind is prohibited on public property, including beaches, beach paths, streets, sidewalks and public recreation areas. Open burning includes, but may not be limited to portable open burning clay solid fueled fireplaces known as “chimeneas”, small round “campground” fireplaces, bonfires, elevated torches known as tiki torches, and sky lanterns (also known as Kongming or wish lanterns), or rubbish. Bonfires are not permitted to be lit or maintained without a permit from Ocean City Fire Officials. With approved open burning:  use only clean wood, follow manufacturer’s specifications for the appliance; and products of combustion must not cause offense to neighbors.  In addition, the burning of leaves or other waste vegetation is prohibited. 


Does the Fire Department give tours?

Under normal circumstances, tours are given during regular business hours at any of the three Fire Stations within the city.  However, due to COVID-19 all tours have been suspended until further notice.

What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

Sudden severe headache with no known cause is a stroke sign in men and women.

During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause.

By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life—maybe even your own.

Signs of Stroke in Men and Women

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.

Note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.

What are the signs and symptoms of a Heart Attack?

Symptoms of heart attack?

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms.

Call 9-1-1 if you notice symptoms of a heart attack.

Why does the Fire Engine respond on a medical call?

Medical calls may require additional Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) or manpower to safely handle.  Incidents involving Advanced Life Support (ALS) are likely to require additional help.  All Ocean City Fire Fighters are cross trained as Emergency Medical Technicians.  ALS calls can be a stroke, heart attack, syncope, or CPR to name a few.  When a patient suffers from an ailment that is listed as ALS, getting help as soon as possible is the priority.  It is for these reasons that we send an ambulance and engine crew to the call on initial dispatch.  On some occasions, non-medical calls may require nothing more than additional hands.  In this case you may see an engine arrive as well.   

General Information
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
550 Asbury Avenue
Ocean City,

On Duty Fire Fighters
24 hours a day
Administrative Business Hours
8:00am -4:30pm