Open-flame cooking at events restricted to protect operators and attendees


Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) is restricting open-flame cooking at events due to the high risk of potential injury, destruction to property and the environment. The current drought conditions and extreme fire danger rating for the City of Abbotsford further amplify the need for caution when cooking with an open flame as fires can start easily, spread rapidly and challenge fire suppression efforts.

While AFRS and the City of Abbotsford proudly support community events and celebrations, open-flame cooking for events, particularly with oil-based deep fat frying, can spill and splatter easily leading to devastating impacts to event operators and attendees. Examples of open-flame cooking include boiling a large pot of water for hotdogs or deep frying french fries, samosas, fritters, pakoras, doughnuts and other oil-based deep fat fried foods.

An NFPA 96 approved facility, such as a commercial kitchen can be used for open-flame cooking as well as an AFRS/Greater Vancouver inspected and licensed food truck (with Fraser Health approval). If these options are not available, AFRS will allow outdoor open-flame cooking when the following safety requirements are met:

  • Plan ahead:
    • Have a cooking safety plan in place that includes items like emergency contact information for event organizers and fuel storage procedures, and provide it to AFRS ahead of the event.
    • Have a fire extinguisher (minimum rating of 2A-10BC) ready to use at the event.
  • Use certified appliances and tents:
    • If cooking/reheating with an open flame underneath a tent or awning, the structure must be fire rated (CAN/ULC S109) and meet fire retardant standards (NFPA 705 flame test), along with having the appropriate label/identification affixed to the tent/awning or in possession of the operator.
    • Appliances, such as barbeques, must comply with the Canadian Standards Association and have compliance identification.
  • Operate safely: To protect those cooking and event attendees, cordon off the cooking area with a 3 foot radius designated for cooking with an open flame and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

The AFRS Fire Prevention Division will be conducting checks at events to ensure businesses and event operators are compliant with these instructions and may issue fines up to $500 for violations of the City of Abbotsford Fire Service Bylaw No. 3055-2020.

While this does not apply to open-flame cooking in private residences, community members are reminded to use caution and protect themselves and family members from the risks of open-flame cooking.

For more information on how you can plan ahead for your event and be in compliance, please visit or call (604) 853- 3566.

For more information on special event permits, visit

For more information contact:

Aletta Vanderheyden
Communications and Public Relations Manager
City of Abbotsford