| Environmental Columns

Outdoor fires

With the summer season approaching, the City of Pointe-Claire is taking the opportunity to make certain reminders about outdoor fires, with a view to ensuring better air quality for all its citizens.

In all cases, outdoor fireplaces fuelled by solid fuels (e.g., wood), bonfires and open fires are all prohibited on the City’s territory. By prohibiting them, it is limiting the harmful effects of wood combustion on the environment and on health. This combustion releases several air pollutants:

  • PM10 and PM2.5 fine particles
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These are responsible for increased cardiorespiratory issues in the most vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors, and those suffering from chronic cardiorespiratory problems.

The regulations put in place help to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere and ensure better air quality for all.

Apart from outdoor fires, other activities contribute to the deterioration of air quality. The City of Pointe-Claire also restricts the following activities on its territory:

  • Fireworks using pyrotechnics
  • Processions using fire, flames or pyrotechnics
  • Visual effects using fire, flames or pyrotechnics

Outdoor propane fireplaces are authorized and do not require a permit, unlike those installed inside residences. The City also allows the use of barbecues fuelled by charcoal or propane gas, patio heaters or any other similar appliance. However, these appliances must be verified to make sure they are certified.

A few reminders about indoor solid-fuel appliances

On December 14, 2016, the City amended its by-laws to tighten the standards surrounding the use of a wood-burning heating system. This measure, much like that for outdoor fire installations, was aimed at providing the best air quality for its citizens. Here are the main points to remember when it comes to solid-fuel heating:

  • Any new auxiliary heater or fireplace that uses solid fuel must not emit more than 2.5 g per hour of fine particles into the atmosphere.
  • Appliances must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • A certificate of compliance for the installation of a new solid-fuel heating appliance must be submitted to the City Planning Department within 30 days of completion of the work.
  • An installation permit is required and may be obtained from the Planning Department.
  • A maximum of five cords of wood can be stored in the rear setback of a residence.

For more information, consult the By-Law Concerning Nuisances as well as the Construction By-Law.


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