Fire pits should be prohibited in warm months

This past May, the Cleveland Heights administration featured Air Quality Awareness Week. The online “City News Update” stated that "Cleveland Heights is working hard to find ways to lower our contributions to poor air quality and make this a lung-friendly city.” 

Recently, when smoke from Canadian wildfires was a health threat, “City News” advised us to “[t]ake steps to protect your health. Unhealthy air quality increases health risks for everyone, but is more worrisome for Sensitive Groups, those at risk for pulmonary episodes such as asthma.” And the Cleveland Heights Fire Department asked us to "[p]lease observe the current moratorium on open fires, such as fire pits, that generate smoke."

If Cleveland Heights is to be a “lung-friendly city,” why are smoke-producing open fires, such as fire pits, permitted? They shouldn’t be.

Smoke is a serious health risk for some. It also is a nuisance. Most Cleveland Heights homes are not air-conditioned. The scent of lilacs coming through open windows should not be swamped by the smell of smoke. Blaring music is considered a nuisance and is not permitted; nor should unhealthy, disturbing smoke be—during months when windows are open.

That’s my view. I suggest you submit yours to Council Member Janine Boyd ( who chairs council’s Public Safety and Health Committee. 

Thomas Bier

Thomas Bier has lived in Cleveland Heights for 50 years. 

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 1:47 PM, 07.31.2023