"There's nothing like a good barbecued steak or hot dog or hamburger, especially early in the season." That coming from the Fire Chief of Estevan Fire and Rescue. However, you don't want him and the rest of the firefighters showing up at your door to put out an out of control barbecue fire this year. 

"When we're talking about grilling safety," shared Fire Chief, Dale Feser, "of course we want to make sure that, whether are using propane or charcoal grills, the same rules typically apply. They should only be used outdoors. As well, the barbecue or grill should be placed at least one meter or three feet away from the home anything that is a combustible surface."

"You don't want to be that neighbour. We all see neighbours on the block who have melted siding that's typically the result of a cooking appliance that has come too close into contact and the radiant heat has started degrade and just about start the siding on fire. Ensure proper clearances are being maintained."

"We want to make sure that we are having a chat with our children too as well. Everyone is excited to get outside and play but you want to make sure that you're keeping children and pets away from the cooking surfaces as well as fire pit or campfire for that matter."

"It goes without saying that it doesn't matter if you're cooking on the stove in the house or on the barbecue, you never want to leave your cookie surface unattended."

He adds that fire pits are also a nice way to enjoy the warm temperatures but, there are a few things residents should know before lighting that first match. 

"We've had several calls for service int he last few days for illegal outdoor fires occurring within the city."

"There is an application process that you have to go through to make sure that number one, you are using an approved burning appliance. Number two, all the safety rules are being followed. And number three, you are using approved burning products within the city."

"Generally what we want to do is make sure that they are using approved burning woods. In the last couple instances, we found that they were burning some garden refuse or tree limbs and pine needles. You cannot do that in city limits."

"Some of the other prohibited items within the city for burning are rubbish, garden items, manure, livestock or animal carcasses or materials classified as a dangerous good."

"All those materials are asked to be taken to the city landfill."

All fire-pits must also have a screen on top. 

The reason for the screen is to arrest any sparks or flame from migrating away from the fire-pit and accidentally a fire in your neighbour's property or an unintended fire on your own property."

"Typically the receptacle on top is constructed of heavy gauge medal screening with openings not exceeding half an inch or 13 mm. And again, we want to make sure that you're staying at least three meters or ten feet away from any property line, building or other combustible item."

"You want to make sure you send in a picture of your fire-pit as well so that way we can define whether or not it is approved for use."

To fill out your free application, visit Estevan.ca. A copy of the bylaws is also available.

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