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Fire pit regulations

Thinking about installing a fire pit in your backyard? Follow these guidelines to ensure your fire pit is up to code and more importantly, safe for you and your family.

An acceptable fire pit means an outdoor receptacle that meets the following specifications:

  • A minimum of three metres clearance (measured from the nearest fire pit edge) must be maintained from buildings, property lines or other combustible material.
  • The fire pit height can not exceed 0.6 metres when measured from the surrounding grade to the top of the pit opening.
  • The fire pit opening can not exceed one metre in width or diameter when measured between the widest points or outside edges.
  • The fire pit must have enclosed sides made from bricks, concrete blocks, heavy gauge metal, or other non-combustible material accepted by the Fire Chief
  • A metal mesh screen (spark arrestor) with openings no larger than 1.25 centimetres and constructed of expanded metal (or equivalent non-combustible material) must be used to cover the fire pit opening.
  • Clean, untreated wood is the only acceptable burnable material.

Clay fire pots are not required to meet these regulations, but should have a layer of gravel or sand in the bottom to prevent the fire from burning through the bottom of the pot. They should always be placed away from combustible materials.

Commercial freestanding outdoor fireplaces enclosed in mesh must meet the installation guidelines listed above.

Small propane fire pits

Small propane fire pits using 20 pound propane bottles or less are not addressed directly in the City's current bylaw, however the following recommendations are being used to address any concerns regarding the use of these items.

  • Follow the manufacturer's suggested minimum clearance from combustible items both vertically and horizontally.
  • The owner of the residence where these items are being used is responsible to provide documentation from the manufacturer showing the minimum clearances from combustibles to fire crews if requested.
  • If the documentation from the manufacturer is not available, the minimum distance from combustibles allowed by the fire department will be 1.22 metres measured horizontally from any outer edge of the fire pit to any combustible item and 1.22 metres measured vertically from the burner of the device to any combustible item.
  • If documentation is not provided or the minimum clearance distance cannot be achieved, the fire pit must be extinguished and not used in that location for safety reasons.
  • No fire pit or device will be permitted to be fuelled by anything larger than a 20 pound bottle of propane.

For more information please contact the Community Safety Officer at the Airdrie Fire Department at 403.948.8880.