Requirements for the Installation and Use of Outdoor Wood Fuelled Fire Containing Devices
- Submit a completed application form, a design drawing and a picture of the fire-containing device to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The drawing must be on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and include all pertinent information (i.e. proposed location, clearance distances and device measurements).
- The picture must include the spark arrestor and the proposed location of use.
- Obtain the written approval of the Fire Chief or their designate before the use of an outdoor wood-fuelled fire containing device.
Conditions That Must be Satisfied
Listed distances apply for both horizontal and vertical directions.
- Public Property - No fire is allowed on public property except in a pit or container that has been approved by the Fire Department for such use.
- Private Residential Yards - Fire-containing devices can only be approved for fires if they are situated in the backyard only. Front and side yard installation and use are not permitted. The devices must be:
- No less than three metres (10 feet) from all property lines.
- No less than three metres (10 feet) from any structure (including but not limited to: fences, decks, garages, sheds, houses, or any other permanently installed or hard to move structures, such as benches or play stations).
- No less than three metres (10 feet) from any vegetation, such as trees or shrubbery.
All seating around fire-containing devices must be easily movable and constructed of materials that do not readily catch fire or burn.
Construction and design
All fire containing devices must be constructed and designed as follows:
- The base must consist of gravel or concrete. It must be no less than 10 centimetres (four inches) greater in size than the outside diameter or measurement of the fire-containing device.
- The fire must be enclosed in a rock, concrete block, cured or fired ceramic/clay, or metal fire container no greater than 90 centimetres (35 inches) inside diameter or measurement and no less than 40 centimetres (16 inches) in height.
- All openings in the fire-containing device must be covered with a metal spark arrestor with a maximum hole size of 0.70 centimetres (0.25 inches).
Public or private fire containing devices may only be used for:
- Cooking of food for human consumption
- The fire must be attended to at all times by an adult who is competent to supervise it.
- A material capable of extinguishing the fire must be located no further than 2 metres (6.5 feet) from the fire-containing device. Acceptable extinguishing capability would consist of a container of water or sand of not less than 20 litres (5 gallons) or a garden hose connected to a reliable water outlet.
- Only clean, dry wood is to be used for fuel.
You cannot burn the following materials in the fire containing device:
- Garbage or painted wood.
- Yard or garden refuse such as tree trimmings, leaves and grass.
- Construction materials.
- Any material made of or containing rubber, plastic or tar.
Even if the fire containing device is approved, Fire Services may require a fire to be extinguished if, in their sole opinion, the fire creates a hazard for reasons including but not limited to:
- the fire not being tended properly;
- the fire or smoke coming from the fire creating a nuisance for other property owners; or
- the fire is creating a risk of spreading outside of its approved container.
Propane Fuelled Device Requirements
Requirements for the use of outdoor propane fuelled fire containing devices:
- Fire-containing devices must be assembled, positioned, and used as per the manufacturer’s certified instructions and the CSA B149 Gas Code requirements.
- Fire-containing devices are only permitted to be used outdoors (must not be used indoors or enclosed).
Additional information can be found in the Fire Services Consolidated Bylaw 01/2020.
Last edited: April 29, 2022