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Fire pits in Ottawa fall under certain regulations and bylaws. Find out what you need to know.

Tips To Safely Set Up Your Fire Pit In Your Ottawa Backyard

Fire pits add a warm ambiance to backyards, especially during cool nights. However, where you can install your fire pit depends on a few factors. Here are some tips to safely and conveniently set up your fire pit in Ottawa:

Check Regulations

The City of Ottawa requires residents to obtain Burn Permits (or Open Air Permits) to burn wood in the open air. The location of your home in Ottawa will determine whether or not you can obtain a Burn Permit. You must also contact the Ottawa Fire Services to see if there is a fire ban in effect. Check the City of Ottawa website for more information on Burn Permits.

If you don’t want to obtain a Burn Permit, you can use a fire pit that is fuelled by ethanol, natural gas, or propane. These are more popular in the city because there is no permit required. Regardless of what type of fire pit you choose, you should also check with your home insurance provider before installing a fire pit. Your insurance policy might change if you have a permanent fire pit installed in your backyard.

Assess Your Backyard Space

If you have a large, open backyard, you can place your fire pit almost anywhere, as long as it’s far enough away from buildings, fences, hedges, branches, and other combustible material. A fire pit usually needs to be three metres from any structure, with a clearance of two metres above it. Check your building code and the manufacturer specifications of the fire pit to be sure. The size and BTU (British thermal unit) of the fire pit will determine the safest distance from any structure or combustible material.

If your yard space is limited, consider where the safest, most convenient location would be. A factor to consider is the location of underground pipes and cables. You need to install your fire pit away from them, so check before you start digging. Another factor you should consider prior to installation is wind—try to find a location that is protected from direct, strong wind.

Choose Appropriate Size and Style

The size and shape of your fire pit should be proportionate to your backyard. If you have a large, open area, you can install a large permanent fire pit. If you are restricted in your area space, smaller fire pits, especially portable ones, are recommended. Portable fire pits can easily be moved if you want to change their location, for convenience and/or landscape style. For more advice on fire pits, styles, installation, and safety, contact an Ottawa fire pit expert.