How To Legally Burn Your House Down (No, Really)

It may be one of the strangest ideas anyone has ever heard that doesn’t involve insurance fraud, but it actually happens — some people choose to burn their own houses down...and do so legally. No, these people are unstable — they simply have a house to get rid of for one reason or another. Maybe they’re mostly interested in the property and the house sitting on it is too far gone for remodeling. Maybe they’ve just always wanted to see a house burn to the ground (no judgment here, if that’s how you get your kicks). While burning a house to the ground seems like one of the cheapest forms of home demolition, there are obviously a lot of conditions and moving parts involved.

Getting Your Local Fire Department Involved

If you have your heart set on burning your home to the ground, you wouldn’t think that calling your local fire department would be your first step. You also wouldn’t think that your local fire department would be thrilled to hear that you’re contemplating setting your home ablaze. Oddly enough, there’s a good chance that the fire department will not only be excited to hear of your destructive plans, but they’ll probably even help you do it. You see, fire departments are always training for the next emergency, but training simulations can only resemble actual conditions to a certain extent. What is lacking is an actual burning house to use to hone their skills. Excited to have a house to train within, there’s a good chance that a fire department will help with a lot of the legwork and paperwork to make sure you’re not taken to jail for lighting your house on fire. In fact, they’ll probably even take over the entire process themselves. And we feel we speak for everyone when we say, “yeah, that’s probably for the best.”

Getting Ready To Burn By Getting Rid of Hazardous Materials

Before your home can meet its fiery end, it has to be prepared. Most of the same precautions will need to be met just like any other full-scale demolition. All utility lines must be properly shut off, capped off, and disconnected. Demolition permits need to be issued before any burning can begin as well as any hazardous materials, such as asbestos, must be removed. Firefighters will work with your state’s Environmental Protection Agency to make sure that all of the rules for an intentional burn for firefighter training purposes are in order.

It’s Time To Burn Your House Down

On the day of your purposeful house fire, firefighters will arrive, prepare, and then perform a variety of fire drills for an extended period of time. It’s not every day that firefighters have a real house to burn down for training purposes, so they will want to rehearse a variety of scenarios within, outside, and even possibly on top of the home. Once the house has outlived its use, the fire department will begin the final process of burning the house down while limiting damage to any surrounding areas. You’ll probably be able to watch your house burn down from a safe distance with your neighbors and friends. If prepared in the proper way, by the end of the burn, there should be little left than ash debris on the house’s foundation.


If you need any home demolition and burning your house down isn’t in the cards, your next best option is calling the demolition professionals at DT Specialized Services. From delicate demolitions that require precision to full-scale jobs, our demolition experts can help.