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Outdoor Safety

These tips can help you stay safer outdoors.

Backyard Fire Pits

Residents of Fort McMurray are reminded that backyard fire pits require a permit.

If you have recently installed a fire pit or are a new homeowner, you are required to submit a permit application to the Fire Prevention Branch, located at Fire Hall 5 (200 Airport Road, T9H 4P1). You can download a fire pit permit application from this website. There is a $35 permit fee, and all approved permits are valid as long as the application resides at the address listed on the permit.

Please note that portable fire pits do not require a permit. All guidelines for the safe operation of the fire pit must still be followed.

Fire Pit Requirements Diagram JPEG

Once your fire pit has been inspected and a permit has been issued, follow these safe burning practices:

  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • Keep your fire small and watch for sparks and strong winds.
  • Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood, commercial fire logs or briquettes.
  • Never burn pressure treated wood.
  • Be aware of the safety of children and pets.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or hose handy when using your fire pit.
  • Be considerate of your neighbours when burning.
  • Ensure a grate is on hand to prevent flying sparks and embers .
  • For fire ban information in Alberta, please see www.albertafirebans.ca.
  • Fire pit permit applications may be submitted for processing to the Fire Prevention Branch at Fire Hall 5, 200 Airport Road, T9H 4P1.

Flammable Gases and Liquids

  • Do not refuel landscaping equipment while it is still hot.
  • Clean gasoline spills immediately. Rinse rags and let them dry outside prior to washing.
  • Flammable materials should not be stored near exits, electrical equipment or heating equipment.
  • Flammable materials should be stored in a separate, well-ventilated storage area, away from potential sources of ignition.
  • If materials are removed from their original containers, they must be placed into a container that is appropriate for flammable materials and labeled appropriately.

Wildfires

Keep Your Home Safe
  • Keep a 10 metre “fuel-free” zone from homes, buildings, power lines and propane tanks. This includes dried shrubs, trees, deadfall, woodpiles, firewood and fencing.
  • Clear your roof and gutters of combustibles, such as overhanging trees and leaves.
  • Ensure exterior walls are made of fire-resistance materials, such as stucco, brick, metal or concrete.
Prevent Wildfires
  • Monitor the fire danger forecast on the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website.
  • Never park your vehicle on dry grass.
  • Do not use stoves, lanterns or heaters inside of a tent.
  • Store flammable liquids in a safe place.
  • Dispose of smoking materials in a designated ashtray.
  • For information on reporting wildfires, visit this website's Emergency Management pages.

Barbecues

  • When purchasing a BBQ, ensure that it bears a CSA, ITS or ULC label.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup, rust, dust or cobwebs.
  • Keep your BBQ at least one metre away from your home or trees.
  • Do not BBQ indoors as this could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Always light the BBQ as soon as the gas flow is turned on and never light a gas BBQ with the lid down.
  • Check gas tank hoses for leaks before using for the first time each year. Apply a 50/50 solution of soap and water to the hose. If bubbles appear, there is a gas leak.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.
  • Never leave your barbecue unattended.

Vehicles

Have your vehicle inspected annually to ensure it is in good working order. Be mindful of any changes, such as a louder than usual exhaust tone, smoke coming from the tailpipe or a backfiring exhaust. These changes could indicate problems or damage to the high-temperature exhaust and emission control system on the vehicle.

If a vehicle fire occurs...
  • Stop the car immediately and pull over to the side of the road. Turn off the ignition to stop the flow of gasoline. Do not open the hood, as this will expose the fire to excess oxygen.
  • Ensure everyone in the vehicle safety gets out of the vehicle and move a safe distance away (at least 30 meters).
  • Immediately call 9-1-1.
  • Never attempt to combat a vehicle fire yourself.

Wildfire Rebuild  [Learn more]

Winter Maintenance Zones are relaxed [Learn more]