The St. John's Regional Fire Department is alerting residents to be careful when using outdoor fireplaces, commonly referred to as chimineas.
As warm weather approaches, the department receives an increase in inquiries and complaints about the requirements and safe use of outdoor fireplaces.
Open air fireplaces, such as chimineas, are permitted without a permit provided that only seasoned wood is used; wind speeds are not in excess of 25 km per hour, and smoke does not cause an annoyance to adjacent properties.
These open air fireplaces are required to be installed in accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions, if supplied; located at least three metres from any building, structure or combustible material; capable of completely containing/enclosing the fire; equipped with a spark arrester and/or screen to prevent escape of sparks and/or burning 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, and 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 on the St. Johns and Mount Pearl web sites at www.stjohns.ca/bylaws.nsf/wbylawnum/1306 and www.mountpearl.ca respectively.
For further information or assistance concerning this or any other fire safety-related matter within the region serviced by the St. Johns Regional Fire Department, please call 576-3905.