Backyard & Beach Fire Safety
Always use caution when burning in an outdoor fire pit, wood burning oven, or chimenea. During the summer, many people enjoy gathering around a fire. However, outdoor fires can be harmful if guidelines are not followed properly and can be bothersome to surrounding neighbours.
The fire index changes daily and should be checked prior to having a fire.
- Backyard fireplaces should be built into the ground, or on brick, stone or other non-combustible surface with a minimum surface area of 1.5 metres.
- Wood burning devices must be at least 3.5 meters away from your property line, house, garage, fence or flammable materials like trees, branches, and plants.
- A mesh screen or spark guard is required to reduce the spread of embers and sparks. The openings in the mesh screen should not be greater than 0.5 inches across.
- Beach or backyard fires should not be lit if wind speeds exceed 15 km/hr.
- Only burn clean, dry firewood.
- Public health orders must be followed at all times.
- For backyard fires a hose or water bucket should be on hand. For beach fires, a bucket should be on hand to put out the fire.
- Fires in a barrel (with or without a screen) or any open-air fires, should be at leaset 15 meteres from any uncleared lands, woodlands, adjacent building or structures, grasslands or forest land. If burning in a barrel with no screen, or having an open-air fire then a burn permit is required.
- Fires should be completely extinguished when finished and never left unattended.
Do Not Burn
- Wood that is painted, treated or contains glue or resin
- Wood from a different location, region or province
- Wet or green/fresh cut wood
- Yard waste (cut grass or leaves)
- Rubber or plastic
Consider Your Neighbours
Smoke from wood burning devices or fireplaces can cause adverse health effects in some people. Be aware of neighbours that may be negatively impacted from the exposure of smoke from these devices.
A person must not light any fire that will cause smoke irritation to neighbouring properties. Complaints from neighbours will result in the fire being extinguished.
Does your neighbour have laundry drying on the clothesline? Give a courtesy call to let them know you are planning to light the backyard fire and give a time, so they can bring in their freshly washed clothes.
Check wind speeds. High winds speeds may send smoke long distances or pose a fire hazard. Low wind speeds will not disperse smoke and can contribute to poor air quality. Follow the wind speed limit outlined above.
Be aware of the noise you are making and follow the Town’s noise bylaws. Quiet hours are 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following day.
- In case of emergency, always have a water hose nearby.
- Never leave children unsupervised around a fire.
- Air exchanges can cause problems by filling neighbouring homes with smoke.
- Permits are not required for a backyard fireplace, but you are required to follow the Open Air Burning Regulations.
Contact the Conception Bay South Fire Department at (709) 834-6500 ext. 801.