Fire Pit Safety
Backyard fire pits, as well as outdoor fire places, wood burning ovens or Chimeneas, must meet Calgary’s Community Standards Bylaw for your safety and enjoyment, as well as your neighbours.
Always check if a Fire Ban is in effect before starting a fire.
Call 311 to report a complaint about a backyard fire pit.Call 9-1-1 to report an out of control fire in a fire pit.
Rules for fire pits
- Backyard fire pits should be built into the ground, on brick or stone, or in a fire-proof container. Portable fire pits may be used on a deck as long as they sit on brick or stone, and not directly on your wooden deck.
- Fire pits must be at least two metres away from your property line, house, garage, or fence.
- Fire pits must NOT be under any trees, branches, plants or other materials that can catch fire.
- All fires in your fire pit must be kept to a reasonable size; 1 metre high and wide. A mesh screen or ‘spark guard’ is now required in order to reduce the spread of embers and sparks from wood-burning fire pits. The openings in the mesh screen must not be greater than 1.24 cm across.
- Only burn clean, dry firewood. Do NOT burn:
- Wood that is painted, treated or contains glue or resin
- Wood from a different location, region or province
- Wet or green/fresh cut wood
- Yard waste (cut grass or leaves)
- Rubber or plastic
- Always have a way to put out the fire close to your fire pit. Easy options are your watering hose or a bucket of water.
- All fires in your fire pit must be continually supervised.
You can be fined, up to $5,000, for not following Calgary's fire pit bylaws.
Fire pit hours
Fire pits may only be used:
- Between 10 a.m. and midnight, Sunday - Thursday; or
- Between 10 a.m. and 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
Consider your neighbours
- Smoke from fire pits can cause adverse health effects in some people. Be aware of neighbours that may be negatively impacted to exposure of smoke from outdoor fire pits and follow the bylaws related to smoke.
- Before using your fire pit, familiarize yourself with optimal wind conditions and take precautions to prevent smoke from disturbing your neighbors.
- High wind speeds may send smoke long distances or pose a fire hazard.
- Low wind speeds won’t easily disperse smoke and can contribute to poor air quality.
- Placing a metal grill/screen on top of the fire pit reduces the flame's size and helps prevent sparks and embers from escaping and igniting nearby materials.
- Be aware of the amount noise you are making and be sure to follow the Community Standards Bylaw. Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday to Saturday and between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays and Holidays.
Burn it where you buy it
Firewood from different locations, regions or provinces can spread unwanted pests and diseases like Dutch elm disease. The firewood you chose has an impact on the health of our local trees. Always remember, burn it where you buy it.