Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 12:45 PM

Outdoor Fire Safety - A Message from St.John's Regional Fire Department

outdoor fire place

With more people taking advantage of the warmer and drier conditions, there has been increase in the use of chimneas, outdoor fire pit and charcoal BBQs. It is important to always remember that anytime you work with fire, there is a chance of losing control of the fire, or getting burned.

St. John's Regional Fire Department wishes to advise the general public that with the warm and dry conditions, the Department asks residents to exercise extreme caution when using outdoor fire pits and charcoal BBQs. Cooler weather is forecasted over the next several days which will lessen the risk. SJRFD will continue to monitor conditions early next week and will provide an update on the use of outdoor fire pits and charcoal BBQs.

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) would like to remind all residents to keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning up after any outdoor fire.
By considering the following safety tips, outdoor fireplaces can provide a more pleasurable ambience for social gatherings.

  • Use only seasoned wood.
  • Wind speeds are not in excess of 25 km per hour.
  • Smoke does not cause an annoyance to adjoining properties. 

These open air fireplaces are required to be:

  • Installed in conformance with manufacturer’s instruction, if supplied.
  • Located at least 3 meters from any building, structure or combustible material.
  • Capable of completely containing/enclosing the fire.
  • Equipped with a spark arrestor and/or screen to prevent escape of sparks and/or embers.
  • Placed on a firm and level surface which has a non-combustible base beneath it – a minimum of 0.5 m completely outside the perimeter of the unit.
  • Attended by someone with access to a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or another water source while operating. A copy of the complete regulations can be obtained at the St. John’s and Mount Pearl websites ( or, respectively). 

General Safety

  • Never use gasoline, kerosene, starter fluids or any other substance that may create a rapid build-up of fire.
  • DO NOT use any of these outdoor devices inside your home.
  • These units are not intended as a primary heat source.
  • Properly dispose of ashes once the fire is out. Allow them to cook before disposing; otherwise, douse with plenty of water and NEVER place them in plastic, paper, or wooden containers, only metal. 

For more information contact:
Captain Gary Power (Acting)
Fire Prevention Officer
St. John’s Regional Fire Department
(709) 576-3905