FD: Hot Topics

Haunted Houses

Safety First

Haunted houses are all about fun, but keeping everyone safe is the highest priority. The McKinney Fire Department requires that you have a permit if you want to offer a haunted house in the City of McKinney.

Haunted Houses are considered a special amusement building designed for the purpose of entertainment. The description includes indoor and outdoor haunted houses that contain a pathway arranged so that the exits are not readily visible.

Black silhouette of old two story home - Halloween.


We have developed a guideline for residents and business owners who intend to operate haunted houses, scare houses or haunted mazes during the Halloween season for community, school or local fundraising events. The requirements apply not only to commercial buildings, but to residential homes in which the public is invited or allowed on the property for the purpose of entertainment.

By nature, many of these types of facilities are unique; thus, the fire safety concerns are unique and must be evaluated accordingly. The Fire Department wants to ensure that those who operate and visit these unique entertainment venues are safe and are able to enjoy the event. 

More information regarding the background and fire safety requirements can be found in our Haunted House Guidelines


Burn Restrictions

Whether you are thinking about a campfire or burning some trash, make sure you know what is allowed in your area. There are two categories to consider: open burning and recreational fires.

Open Burning

Open burning is not allowed within the City of McKinney without a permit. Ordinance 2018-01-003 defines Open Burning 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."

Burn Restrictions

All open burning must be a minimum of 500 feet from any structures and contained within a trench burner, airbox or incinerator and is permitted only for silvicultural, range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests. In such cases, a Burn Permit will be issued subject to weather conditions and inspected by our office prior to the start of the authorized burn.

Bonfires are reviewed by our office on a case-by-case basis.

Recreational Fires

Recreational fires are "an outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish, where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill or barbecue pit and has a total fuel area of three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes." Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure unless the fire is contained within an approved container and allowed only when the installation and use are reviewed and approved by our office.

Prohibited Open Burning

Open burning that is offensive or objectionable due to smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited. Fire Department officials are authorized to order the extinguishing by the permit holder or the Fire Department of open burning which creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

The location for open burning shall not be less than 500 feet from any structure, with the exception of fire in approved containers.


Fireworks & Pyrotechnic Effects

  • It is illegal to possess or use fireworks in McKinney and 5,000 feet outside the city limits
  • This includes sparklers
  • Poppers are allowed
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • A permit is required for any public or private displays
  • View the information below for details

$2,000 Fine for Fireworks in McKinney

It's the Law

Per Section 5601.1.3 of the 2015 IFC, the possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks within the City of McKinney is prohibited. This includes the area immediately adjacent to and contiguous to the city limits of the city and extending for a distance outside the city limits for a total of 5,000 feet outside the city limits; provided that this article shall not apply within any portion of such 5,000-foot area which is contained within the territory of any other municipal corporation.

Fireworks are defined as any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect for entertainment purposes by combustion, deflagration, detonation and/or activated by ignition with a match or other heat producing device that meets the definition of 1.4G fireworks or 1.3 fireworks as set forth herein. By definition this includes sparklers.

Note: A pyrotechnics permit includes the use of 1.2G and 1.1G. This includes consumer fireworks that can be purchased at roadside vendors during the Fourth of July. This does not include the party poppers that do not need a flame to ignite and can be purchased at local retailers within the city limits.


A fee of $800 is required for all permitted pyrotechnic displays. A representative of the licensed pyrotechnics company shall pay the fee at least one week prior to the event. Fees shall be made payable to “City of McKinney” and payment can be made through the McKinney Fire Marshal’s Office. All pyrotechnic shows are required to be supervised by representatives of the McKinney Fire Marshal's Office during all times the pyrotechnics are on-site. In addition, a brush truck and two firefighters are required to be on standby prior to and after the event shoot.

Fireworks Permit Application

The display of fireworks for a public or private gathering is allowed only with the approval and permit of the McKinney Fire Department. Citizens or pyrotechnic companies wanting to provide a fireworks display shall be subject to the requirements of the 2012 IFC, NFPA 1123 and NFPA 1126.

The Fire Marshal's Office has prepared a guideline in order to assist with the submittal of an issuance of a permit for a fireworks or pyrotechnic display.