Every year, people in Indianapolis look forward to the fall and winter months as being a time where they can start outdoor burning to burn trash, leaves and any debris that they’ve accumulated during the year. Many people also look forward to using their chiminea especially on colder nights when they are able to sit outside next to their chiminea while drinking something warm.
This practice of outdoor burning is very well known and seen as a right for many people but, for some people, outdoor burning is seen as a potential health risk and a public nuisance.
Asthma and Other Health Risks
Recent reports have shown that over 7 million adults in the United States have asthma and for people like Indianapolis resident Karen Laymon, outdoor burning means trouble anytime she goes outside.
Mrs. Laymon said that she “gasps for air” anytime she ventures outside for common, everyday things from going to the store to walking around the block when people are burning and she feels that city ordinances are in her favor when it comes to prohibiting outdoor burning.
Section 511-702 from the city ordinance states “no person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the emission into the atmosphere of any substance or combination of substances from the burning of wood products as allowed therein in such quantities as to cause annoyance or constitute a nuisance so as to interfere with the health or well-being of any individual in his/her home or place of employment or recreation as to interfere with the normal use and enjoyment of any such place.”
Mary Moriarty Adams who works for the city-county in representing the area of the city where Karen Laymon and her family lives said that after reading the codes again she feels that Mrs. Laymons neighbors have the right to continue to use their chiminea as long as they have proper working chiminea and are burning the right products in those devices.
After she was confronted with Section 511-702 of the city ordinance though, Mrs. Adams conceded that Karen Laymon may have a valid complaint and is urging the city to reexamine her case.