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Open Burning by Fire Companies


Property owners occasionally donate buildings and other standing structures to Delaware Fire Companies for the purpose of conducting live firefighting training for their company’s members. These training exercises help firefighters develop competency and proficiency in battling blazes and learn structural rescue skills.

Controlled BurnProcedure for Demolition of Donated Buildings or Structures

  1. Before a building or other standing structure can be used for live firefighting training, a thorough asbestos inspection must be conducted by a Delaware licensed professional service firm (asbestos inspector) in accordance with both state and federal law.  The asbestos inspector will issue a certified report on the findings. 
  2. If any asbestos-containing material is present, it must be removed prior to obtaining approvals from DNREC’s Division of Air Quality by the fire company conducting the training exercise. Removal of the asbestos-containing material must be done by a Delaware licensed Asbestos Contractor (NOTE: The homeowner exemption for removal of asbestos-containing material from a residence does not apply to structures designated for demolition by fire.)
  3. Once ALL asbestos-containing material has been removed, the property owner shall have a second inspect by a Delaware licensed professional service firm. This final report will be certified by the asbestos inspector stating ALL asbestos-containing material identified in the earlier inspection has been removed by a Delaware-licensed Asbestos Contractor.

    * NOTE:  The Office of Management and Budget’s Facilities Management Division maintains the official list of professionals licensed by the State of Delaware to conduct asbestos inspections, abatement and removal.

    OMB’s Facilities Management
    Contact Information
    Doyle Tiller
    (302) 739-5644

  4. The property owner for the building to be demolished by burning will provide copies of the final asbestos inspection report to the Delaware fire company.
  5. The Delaware fire company will submit the completed Demolition via Firefighting Instruction to DNREC’s Division of Air Quality no less than 10-working days prior to the scheduled demolition/training exercise:

    DNREC Division of Air Quality
    Attn. Open Burning
    Blue Hen Corporate Center
    655 S. Bay Road, Suite 5 N
    Dover, DE 19901
    FAX 302.739.3106

  6. A copy of this application  must be sent to USEPA, Philadelphia - Region 3 via U.S Postal Service or hand delivery in order to meet federal notification requirements outlined by 40 CFR 61.145(b):

    USEPA-Region 3
    Attn. Asbestos Coordinator
    1650 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19103.
  7. The Division of Air Quality will review the fire company’s application and issue an Open Burning Tracking Number when the information is deemed complete.
  8. If for any reason the fire training can not occur on the day noted on the application, the fire company must notify DNREC-Division of Air Quality and USEPA by telephone of the new date as soon as possible. The fire company also must provide a written notice of the new start date, as soon as possible before—and no later than—the original start date. (See 40 CFR 61.145(b))

    DNREC – DAQ  302.739.9402
    USEPA Region 3     215.814.2136
  9. The remaining debris pile from the burned structure must be disposed of in accordance with Delaware Solid Waste regulations. Contact DNREC’s Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances at 302.739.9403 for more information regarding solid waste disposal.


Last Revised: 09/12/12

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