Outdoor fireplaces are popular and readily available at hardware stores and garden centres. However, before you buy, note that Penticton has bylaws for the safe use of these fireplaces. Wood-burning outdoor fireplaces are only permitted when inspected by the Penticton Fire Department.
If you want to burn wood on your property, you’ll need to have a permanently installed and inspected outdoor fireplace.
For safety reasons, all permanent outdoor fireplaces in Penticton require a site inspection, at a cost of $50.
How to begin
Are you making an application to construct a permanent outdoor fireplace? According to Penticton’s Fire and Life Safety Bylaw, you must:
- Submit a plot plan for approval indicating the location of the fireplace along with the drawing showing construction and dimensions.
- The fireplace must be constructed in such a manner that limits the size of the fire area to a maximum of 4000 cm/sq. (24”x 24”).
- The fireplace must not be situated within 3 metres (10') of combustibles or adjoining lot line.
- The chimney must extend at least 1 metre (3') above any structure that is within 3 metres (10') of the fireplace.
- The chimney must be equipped with a 1 cm (1/2”) mesh spark arrestor and secured with metal screws when necessary.
- Call the Prevention Division at 250-490-2300 for a site inspection.
- A final inspection will be done by Fire Department personnel and a permit issued at that time.
The permanent outdoor fireplace cannot to be used as a domestic or commercial incinerator. Only dry, well seasoned wood is acceptable. The Fire Chief can revoke any permit where there is a violation of any condition or requirement of this bylaw.
Safe burning practices
Once your fireplace has been inspected, follow these safe burning practices:
- Burn only dry, well seasoned wood or use commercial fire logs or briquettes.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
- Be aware of the safety of children and pets.
- Have a fire extinguisher or hose handy when using your fireplace.
- Keep your fire small and watch for sparks.
- Be considerate of your neighbours.
Prohibited Burning Materials
The following materials are prohibited from burning. This includes domestic, commercial, demolition, renovation and construction waste materials, including:
- wooden pallets
- demolition waste
- tar paper
- treated lumber
- railway ties
- leaves, grass and grass cuttings
- asphalt and asphalt products
- fuel and lubricant containers
- biomedical waste
Other outdoor fireplaces and barbeques
For safety reasons, permanent or portable fireplaces and barbecues that do not meet the requirements for Permanent Outdoor Fireplaces can only be used for the preparation of food and must use briquettes, propane or natural gas.
A site inspection is not required.
Penticton Fire Department