Fire Safety

On Bald Head Island, fire prevention and early detection are very important.  The island is only accessible by ferry or barge and the Department of Public Safety cannot rely on mutual aid from surrounding municipalities.  Also, many of the homes are surrounded by the thick maritime forest.

If you are staying on Bald Head Island for vacation it is important to know your physical address so that if you need to call 911 you can tell emergency responders where you are.  Make sure everyone you are staying with knows the address or where it can be found – for instance – on the refrigerator.

Property owners should make sure that the home’s address bollard is visible from the road by clearing up vegetation or replacing faded numbers.  This way, Public Safety Officers will be able to locate you in an emergency.

As mentioned, fires on Bald Head Island need to be controlled quickly.  Therefore, the Village has the following rules:


Village ordinance prohibits the possession and/or use of fireworks without a special permit by the county (Sec. 16-81).

Sec. 16-81. Pyrotechnics restricted.    The possession and/or use within the confines of the village of pyrotechnics by any individual except by special permit of the county is declared unlawful. Violation of this section shall be a civil violation punishable by a civil fine of $100.00. Any individual cited for violation of this section shall pay the civil penalty at the office of the village clerk within 48 hours of the issuance of the citation. In addition, violation of this section shall constitute a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 and/or imprisonment pursuant to G.S. 14-4. Nothing in this section shall prevent the village from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

Please note that this ordinance applies to sparklers, so they are prohibited.

Open Fires

Village ordinance prohibits the Public Safety Department from issuing open burning permits to individuals between May 1 and November 15 and other times burning is allowed by permit only (Sec. 12-55 (c)).

Sec. 12-55. Application review; limit on number of permits issued; seasonal limitations.

(c)   Between May 1 and November 15 of any year, the director of public safety shall not issue more than two (2) burn permits in a single day to commercial entities. Between May 1 and November 15 of any year, the director of public safety shall not issue any burn permits to individuals.

Information regarding beach bonfire permits can be found HERE.

Monitored Smoke Detection Systems

Village Ordinance Section 6-163 includes requirements for monitored smoke detection systems in residential structures over 500 square feet.   The monitoring helps notify Public Safety as soon as smoke is detected in the structures, thus improving the Village’s response time to fires.

Here are a few other tips for your fire alarms:

  1. Change your smoke alarm batteries every six (6) months.
  2. Make sure your alarm system is functioning properly by getting it routinely inspected.  An annual inspection as part of a scheduled maintenance program with your alarm service provider making all necessary repairs and/or recommended system improvements should be taken into consideration.
  3. Inquire with your alarm service provider for recommendations on the various methods of connectivity for required monitoring services given your current alarm system configuration.  An old or outdated alarm system that currently uses a conventional landline connection may be converted for connection through the internet. Radio communicator devices through a cellular-based service provider is another option worth considering.
  4. Have adequate power surge protection and battery backup for your fire alarm system.

For more information on smoke detectors please visit the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) website at  Also, contact your alarm service provider if you have any questions.