Published on January 28, 2021

Fires on the Driveway: The Safe Way to do it 

If you’re missing impromptu driveway chats and physically distanced hangouts from the summer chances are your neighbours are too.  

Get outdoors and rekindle neighbourhood connections around a fire on your driveway. Starting Saturday, January 30 residents will be able to enjoy a fire on their driveway every Saturday as part of a three-month pilot.  

Recently the Government of Alberta released new guidelines and restrictions to help curb the COVID-19 numbers. The limitations include no gatherings indoors. Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 10 people. The rules around gathering size have made it difficult for individuals to connect at home. The City of St. Albert has come up with the idea to allow residents to have their fire pits on the driveway to help connect people in a safe space.   

 It is strongly recommended to use a propane fire pit as it does not produce smoke or sparks and is easier to extinguish.  

SAFS (St. Albert Fire Services) WOOD FIRE PIT REQUIRED PARAMETERS  

If you are using a wood fire pit, please follow the parameters listed.  

Parameters Details
Location of the Fire Pit

At least three metres (10 feet) from your property lines.   

At least three metres (10 feet) from any structure. This includes structures like fences, decks, garages, sheds, houses, or any other hard to move structure.  

At least three metres (10 feet) from any vegetation, such as trees or shrubbery. 

Seating All seating around your fire must move easily and be made of materials that do not easily catch fire or burn.
Fire Pit Construction and Design

Portable wood burning fire pits must be constructed of non-combustible heavy gauge metal to form an enclosed burning area.   

The metal fire container must be 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).   

Fire Pit Usage

The fire must be attended 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.  

Do Not Burn

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.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Services may require a fire to be extinguished if the fire creates a hazard for reasons including but not limited to: 

  • The fire is not being tended properly.
  • The fire or smoke coming from the fire is creating a nuisance for other property owners.
  • The fire is creating a risk of spreading outside of its container.

Additionally, please follow all current Provincial Public Health Measures on COVID-19 when interacting with anyone outside your household. 


Related Pages

Last edited: January 28, 2021