Fire Pits

Did You Know . . . The Town of Athabasca has a policy governing Open Air Fire Pits. Information regarding the construction and use of fire pits, including an application and inspection form, is available at the Town Office.

Open Air Fire Pits

Relaxing around a bonfire is a great way to spend a summer night, but if you are not careful it can also be dangerous.

With the barbecue season upon us and the popularity of backyard fire pits on the rise, Athabasca Town Council wants to alert residents to some of the potential dangers and offer a few safety suggestions.

Also, residents need to know that the Town of Athabasca has a specific policy with regulations governing Open Air Fire Pits. The policy provides informative guidelines and procedures and makes note of a $25 application and inspection fee, required to ensure the proper construction of an Open Air Fire Pit.

Hazards to guard against

-     Fire pits come in all shapes and sizes. If not constructed properly, fire can escape the confines of the pit and have disastrous consequences;

-     Using gasoline instead of lighter fluid can be dangerous;

-     If wood is stacked too high, some can shift and fall out;

-     Instead of newspapers, use fire starters to cut down on smoke and debris that comes from burning paper;

-     Never burn household garbage in an open air fire pit. Noxious fumes can be hazardous to your health and the smell can be a nuisance to your neighbours;

-     Keep the fire pit at least 10 feet away from your house and three feet away from outdoor furniture;

-     Keep the surrounding area free of dead leaves, dry grass or other inflammable debris;

-     Place a screen over the fire pit to help contain sparks;

-     Always keep a source of water nearby.

Policy Guidelines and Procedures for Open Air Fire Pits

The safe use of Open Air Fire Pits is allowed in the Town of Athabasca subject to the following regulations:

-     The pit shall be constructed of metal, concrete, brick or other approved materials;

-     The inside diameter of the pit shall not exceed 36 inches;

-     The pit shall be equipped with an appropriate, well-fitting grill to cover the entire pit, with openings not exceeding ½ inch;

-     The pit shall be constructed a reasonable distance from any structure, hedge, tree or other inflammable material (approx. 10 feet);

-     Only dry seasoned wood and/or charcoal can be burned in open air fire pits;

-     Burning may only take place if there is a responsible adult supervising; burning is conducted in a safe manner; and that extinguishing equipment is readily available;

-     The fire pit shall not be under any overhead power lines;

-     A $25 application/inspection fee shall be levied, and an approved form shall be completed and signed by both the applicant and an official of the Town of Athabasca;

While Open Air Fire Pits can be a source of enjoyment, care must be taken to ensure adequate personal and public safety. The steps needed are minimal, but important.

Complete information regarding the construction and use of Open Air Fire Pits in Athabasca, including the governing policy and the application and inspection form, is available at the Town Office.


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