Fireplace & Chimney Regulations

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Air Quality Management District's Healthy Hearths Initiative

AQMD Rule 445 was implemented in the South Coast Air Basin portion of the District on March 7, 2008, and includes the following key components:

  • A permanently installed indoor or outdoor wood burning device can only be sold or installed in existing homes or businesses on or after September 8, 2008, if it is one of these cleaner burning options:

U.S. EPA Phase II-certified fireplace insert or stove,
Pellet-fueled wood burning heater,
Masonry heater (not an open hearth wood burning fireplace), or
Dedicated gaseous-fueled fireplace

  • No permanently installed indoor or outdoor wood burning device can be installed in new developments (open hearth fireplaces with a gas log set or other design feature that precludes wood burning are acceptable) on or after March 9, 2009.
  • Wood burning cook stoves are exempt from this regulation.

Air Quality Management District Rule 445 FAQs

Chimney Reconstruction

A Building Permit and inspection are required for all chimney repairs. The following details are provided to assist homeowners but are not intended to be a replacement for structural plans and calculations prepared by an engineer.

Unreinforced masonry chimneys may be rebuilt if they are fractured above the roof line but shall be removed down to the throat of the nearest undamaged firebox if they are  damaged below the roof line.

Repair of Earthquake Damaged Chimneys

Unreinforced Masonry Chimneys

Reinforced Masonry Chimneys, Brace requirement based on height

Masonry Chimney Damaged Above Roof Line, For wood framing or steel studs

Reinforced Masonry Chimneys, Roof anchorage and roof brace details

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