SAFE USE OF OUTDOOR GAS HEATERS AND APPLIANCES APPROVED
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – May 26, 2020… Port Coquitlam residents can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of gas heaters and firepits in their home’s outdoor spaces.
At today’s meeting, Committee of Council directed staff to prepare bylaw amendments to allow for the safe use of propane or natural gas firepits, portable heaters and decorative fire tables in backyards and on private patios. The bylaw amendments will be considered at the June 9 Council meeting.
“This will help our residents make their outdoor spaces more comfortable while they continue to spend more time at home due to the pandemic,” Mayor Brad West said. “We’re happy to make this commonsense change, which not only reflects the requests we’ve been getting from the community as they are popular and widely used, but also our fire safety research.”
The city banned the use of outdoor gas appliances, other than barbecues, as part of measures introduced in 2015 to reduce fire risk and nuisance smoke.
However, a review of five years of city fire statistics shows no reported fire damage from outdoor gas appliances, which burn clean fuel and produce no visible smoke. Further, such appliances are widely available, popular and permitted in a number of other Metro Vancouver cities.
Port Coquitlam’s new rules stipulate that propane firepits, portable heaters and decorative fire tables must be:
- Fueled by natural gas or propane,
- CSA/ULC approved,
- Used based on the manufacturer’s instructions,
- Placed at least three metres (almost 10 feet) from combustibles or in accordance with manufacturer clearances, and
- Used on private property only.
“Although we’re updating the rules for these popular outdoor gas appliances, we appreciate residents using them safely and responsibly,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, Council’s designate for community safety. “With hot weather in the forecast, it’s also important for everyone to know that outdoor wood fires, even in an enclosed fire pit, are still not permitted on private property or in any public outdoor space.”
Keeping Outdoor Spaces Safe
Follow these tips to help keep Port Coquitlam safe:
- No open air burning is allowed in Port Coquitlam parks, natural areas and backyards, including campfires, open fires and wood-burning barbecues, fire pits and appliances. The sole exception is on agricultural properties, where outdoor burning is only allowed with a permit and at specific times during the spring and fall.
- Propane or natural gas heaters, firepits and decorative fire tables are permitted outdoors on private property when used in accordance to Fire and Emergency Services Bylaw No. 3880. They are not permitted in Port Coquitlam parks and natural areas.
- Propane barbecues are allowed in most city parks except at all-weather turf fields, such as at Gates Park. Temporary bans may be in place during dry periods. Park visitors are advised to look for signs and never leave their barbecue unattended while it is on or hot.
- Smoking and vaping are prohibited in all parks, trails, streets and public outdoor spaces.
- During the summer and other dry periods, do not park your vehicle, motorcycle or gas-powered bicycle on or next to dry grass.
- If you spot a fire, smell or see smoke, immediately call 9-1-1 and report your location.
For more fire education information, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/fire and watch for tips on Port Coquitlam’s social media channels.
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533