Fire Prevention

Open-flame cooking at events 

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) has restrictions in place for open-flame cooking at events due to the high risk of potential injury, destruction to property and the environment. 

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, donuts 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 conducts 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.