Backyard Fireplace Safety

Backyard Fireplace 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 fireplaces can be harmful if not used properly, and can be bothersome to surrounding neighbours.


  • 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.
  • Fires should not be lit if wind speeds exceed 15 km/hr.
  • Only burn clean, dry firewood.

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)
  • Garbage
  • Rubber or plastic
  • Furniture
Prohibited Burn List
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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.

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.


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