Whether you're out in the wilderness, at the cottage, or in the backyard, pay attention to potential sources of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sources of carbon monoxide
Many outdoor, hunting, and fishing devices are powered by fuels that can release carbon monoxide, including
- butane stoves and heaters.
- propane heaters.
- wood or gas stoves.
- any other fuel-burning appliances or devices.
Always check the manufacturer's recommendations before using your outdoor devices for the first time and learn about the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your cottage, hunting camp, motor home, or trailer and learn what to do if the alarm goes off.
Before using a fuel-burning device or appliance, clear the area around it and ensure that air can circulate freely.
Make sure that the unit is stable and that no one can accidentally knock it over.
Use portable fuel-burning cooking appliances outdoors only.
Keep your heating and cooking devices well maintained.
Before building an outdoor fire, make sure you follow the rules for an open-air fire. If you are using an outdoor fireplace, make sure it is installed properly.
An open-air fire is a fire that burns freely, for example a ground-level campfire.
Before lighting an open-air fire, check with your municipality to see if open-air fires are permitted in your area. Also check with SOPFEU for any restrictions in effect . If there are no restrictions in your municipality, follow these guidelines:
- Prepare an open area on mineral soil, free of combustible materials (leaves, grass, etc.).
- Make sure you have access to a water source (e.g., bucket of water, garden hose) at all times to put out the fire.
- Keep all propane gas cylinders and other combustibles out of reach.
- Keep an eye on the fire at all times and always have water nearby.
- Put out the fire by dousing it thoroughly and stirring the embers.
- Before leaving the premises, make sure there are no heat sources by touching the ashes.
If you have a regulatory outdoor fireplace, you can have a fire, even if SOPFEU restrictions are in effect in your municipality.
To be in compliance, your outdoor fireplace must
be installed on a non-combustible surface (gravel, dirt)
be equipped with a spark arrestor with openings no larger than 1 cm.
However, check with your municipality's regulations to find out what type of fireplace you can use (stone, brick, or heat-resistant metal).
In summer, vegetation areas are drier and therefore more prone to fire.
- Water your garden, plants, hedges, mulch, etc. regularly, while respecting the watering regulations of your municipality.
- Choose clay pots, as they retain moisture better and are not combustible.
- Store your bags of soil out of direct sunlight and away from combustible materials.
- Before burning dead leaves or other plant waste in the open, find out about your municipality's regulations.
Never throw your cigarette butts in a flower pot, garden, or flower bed. Many soils are enriched with chemical fertilizers or other combustible substances and a cigarette butt can burn for more than three hours! You could easily start a fire.
- Always put out your cigarette butts in an ashtray or in a non-combustible container (e.g. can) filled with sand or water.
- Place the ashtray on a stable surface, away from any flammable objects.
- Make sure all butts are extinguished before emptying the ashtray.
Last update: February 23, 2023