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Commercial and Charity Barbecues and Smokers

A barbecue or smoker being used to serve food to the public, including food served during a private or by invitation only event, in return for financial remuneration whether through fixed price, or by way of donation is deemed to be used for commercial purposes.

Although no permits from the St Catharines Fire Service are required for the use of a barbecue or smoker for commercial purposes it is the sole responsibility of the owner/operator to ensure that any and all other required inspections, clearances, or permits are in place, including City of St Catharines business licenses.

A commercial or charity barbecue may be operated between the hours of 8am and 12 midnight only, provided that the following requirements are met:

  • the cooking device is constructed of a non-combustible material designed to contain any burning or smouldering material including any ash that may be produced;
  • any device using propane or natural gas shall be designed for outdoor use and must meet all applicable requirements of the Technical Standards & Safety Authority at all times;
  • the device is located not less than 3 metres away from any combustibles, including fences, vehicles, benches, unless the device is listed for clearances of less than 3 metres and a copy of the listing is attached to the device and in a legible form;
  • the device is located not less than 3 metres from all building openings and intakes;
  • The device may be located under a non-combustible canopy or a flame retardant canopy or tent provided that it is intended to be used only as protection for the cooking appliance and is not part of a building and no persons other than those preparing food shall be permitted under this protection. This shelter shall be removed for service should it be found to be contaminated with grease or carbon which may affect its flammability.
  • a portable fire extinguisher which is new or has been certified by a qualified service company during the past 12 months and has a minimum rating of 2A-10BC must be available at each cooking site. Fire extinguishers must be clearly visible, and easily accessible and shall not be stored inside a cabinet or compartment;
  • smoke from the cooking process must not present a nuisance to any persons
  • any ash that is produced through the cooking process shall be removed and contained in a non-combustible receptacle with a tight fitting lid designed to prevent air from coming into contact with the ash and to prevent the ash from entering the air or onto the ground. Ash receptacles shall be maintained by emptying and/or removal from the site by the owner of the commercial cooking /smoker operation when necessary
  • no ash shall be disposed of in receptacles owned by the City. The operator of a commercial cooking operation or Smoker operation shall remove all ash from City property immediately after it is produced
  • all commercial cooking and Smoker equipment shall be arranged or positioned to prevent persons, other than those operating the equipment, from coming into contact with any hot surfaces.
  • The City and St. Catharines Fire and Emergency Services reserve the right to advise the Technical Standards & Safety Authority of the location of any fuel fired appliance being operated in the City and to request an inspection of the appliance to be conducted and a satisfactory report provided. Any costs associated with the Technical Standards & Safety Authority shall be the responsibility of the Owner.
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