Fire Marshal

Rick Tracy, Fire Marshal/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator/Property Maintenance Officer


5977 East Henrietta Rd.    (Click for Map)
Rush, NY 14543
Phone: (585) 533-1312
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Vary - call to make an appointment or leave a message

My primary responsibility as Fire Marshal is to ensure that the buildings within our community are fire safe and in compliance with the regulations set forth by the Fire Code of the State of New York. As the Emergency Preparedness Administrator, I will be working to make sure that the town’s disaster plan is up to date and that we are prepared to handle any natural or man made disasters that may occur.

Outdoor Cooking Safety

Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked. Do not overfill the propane tank. Always operate grill’s a safe distance away from any structure, deck or patio. A distance of at least ten feet is recommended. Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced. Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue. Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flashback up into the container and explode. Keep a fire extinguisher in the immediate area. Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills. Dispose of hot coals properly – never in or near your house, garage, or structure. Douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Place them in a metal container. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants medical attention.

Recreational Fires and Open Burning Guidelines

The Office of the Fire Marshal receives many requests for information related to open burning requirements. The most common request is for information concerning the requirements for having a recreational fire within the Town of Rush.


The intent of this guideline is to provide the minimum standards necessary to meet the safety requirements when using outdoor barbeques and recreational fires such as pit barbeques, in addition to the requirements for open burning. The requirements are prescribed in 2010 Fire Code if New York State.


This guideline applies to open burning, recreational fires and commercial barbeque pits. Permits are required to conduct open burning. Open burning is also regulated by the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 9,19, 6 NYCRR Part 215 Open Fires.

Fire Code of New York State - Definitions

Open Burning shall be defined as the burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudge pots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames or recreational fires. For the purse of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of external gas are open.

Bonfire shall be defined as an outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial purposes.

Recreation Fire shall be defined as an outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purpose.


Section §307.1 General.

A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with this section.

Section § 307.2 Authorization.

Where required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local (Monroe County) air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified in the authorization are followed.

Section §F307.3 Prohibited open burning.

Open burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.

Section §307.4 Location. The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet (15 240mm) of any structure.


(1) Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure;

(2) The minimum required distance from the structure shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) where the pile size is 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height.

Section §F307.4.1 Bonfires and Recreational Fires.

A bonfire or recreational fire shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbeque pit.

Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

Section §F307.4.2 Attendance.

Open burning, bonfires or recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one (1) portable fire extinguisher with a 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.


Recreational fires are a privilege and allowed for special occasions by the Fire Marshal. A recreational fire, which creates property damage, personal injury or is deemed a nuisance, may be cause for further legal actions to be taken by the Office of the Fire Marshal or the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Requests for outdoor recreational fires have become a popular activity and concern within the Town of Rush, especially with recent marketing and sales of portable outdoor fireplaces, made of metal, ceramic and like materials. The Office of the Fire Marshal has allowed burning for recreational purposes consistent with state, county and local codes and laws, using the following guidelines:

FIRE SAFETY must always be followed.

Recreational fires must be of the same size as in fireplaces (no larger than 3 feet in Diameter; no taller than 2 feet in Height), located 25 feet from combustible structures (houses, fences, sheds, garages, wooden decks, similar structures) and conducted on non-combustible surfaces.

Materials for burning must be clean seasoned firewood (wet wood, fresh cut wood, painted or stained wood creates smoky conditions and is not allowed to be burned). Rubbish is never allowed to be burned.

Competent adult supervision must be at site while fire is burning. Competent adult supervision is someone over 18 years of age, not impaired by drugs, alcohol or having a medical or mental condition which would impair their ability to take proper actions if required.

A source of water must be available to control or extinguish any fire (charged garden hose hooked up to a water supply, multiple pans of water or a 4-A rating fire extinguisher).

No new materials may be added to a fire after 10 PM, fire must be extinguished before abandoning.

Fire cannot create a nuisance. Smoke and or odors may be considered a nuisance.

Outdoor portable fireplaces made of metal, ceramic and like materials and contained within that approved appliance. The approved appliances must follow these same rules and not be placed on any combustible materials (decks, porches, tables, etc.) They may not be located less than 15 feet from a combustible structure and must be extinguished before abandoning.

The most common complaint from neighbors is when recreational fires are not conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations, or when the environmental conditions cause the smoke to migrate off of the property into the residence of neighboring property. Persons with chronic breathing problems can often be affected by these conditions.

Another issue that commonly comes up associated with recreational fires, is noise and disturbance of the neighborhood when these events extend late into the evening. This is a police matter and will be dealt with by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

If the Chief Fire Marshal orders you to extinguish your fire due to non-compliance with the rules and regulations, or the fire creates an offensive or objectionable condition, you are bound by law to comply with the request. Failure to do so may result in you being charged with a violation of the open burning regulations.

Bonfires must be approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal at least 30 days prior to the event. Bonfire permits normally are only issued for community type events such as ceremonial events, pep rallies and neighborhood association gatherings.

Any fire causing the fire department or law enforcement to be called maybe considered by the responding official as a nuisance fire. Nuisance fires must be extinguished.

Do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at (585) 533-1312, if you have any questions regarding this or any fire safety concerns.

Best Regards,

Rick Tracy