Custom Built Gas Fire Displays and Uncertified Outdoor Fireplaces

30 December 2016

Reference #:  D-GA 2015-01 Rev 01

This directive is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.

General Details 

This directive is to clarify when a design registration is required for custom gas fire displays, fire pits, fire bowls and uncertified outdoor fireplaces. 

Under section 3 (1) of the Gas Safety Regulation, gas appliances must not be installed in BC unless they bear either a certification mark of an approved certification agency or an approval mark issued by BC Safety Authority under section 10 of the Safety Standards Act

For information on approved certification marks please see Directive: D-G5 051201 2 Revision: 05 

Information on the design approval process can be found on BCSA’s web site through this link: 

Specific Details

For appliances purchased completely assembled or with some assembly required as an appliance certified to the appropriate standard, which bears an approved certification marking; only an Installation permit is required from the appropriate authority.

For appliances that are field constructed, regardless if parts or accessories bear individual approvals, a complete design registration is required. These appliances are not considered to be certified as an approved appliance.

A gas design registration is always required in advance for fire pits, fire bowls/features and outdoor fireplaces that are field constructed.

For appliances installed outside of the original manufacturers design application a variance request is required in advance. 

For commercial/public installations requiring Gas Design Registration the additional criteria must be met: 

  1. Flame tables and fire pits must be protected by tempered glass surrounds a minimum of 12" inches above the burner. 
  1. All open fire features in restaurants must have their products of combustion power vented to the outdoors in compliance with the CSA B149.1 Natural gas and Propane installation Code. Maximum distances from a flame surface to the underside of a hood shall be 18" inches and sized appropriately to ensure adequate venting. 
  1. Where applicable fireplaces must have an air wash double layer of glass (inner ceramic and outer tempered).  Glass temperature must not exceed 120 F/49 C or have a protective screen that meets the temperature requirement. 
  1. Burners must be of a monitored auto-ignition type burner that conforms with the requirements of the CSA B149.3 code for the field approval of fuel-related components on appliances and equipment. 

Larger input fire effects for public installation must have access control e.g.; railing, glass barrier etc. around the appliance or be of a height that is greater than 10 feet/3 meters. Depending on the input size of the burner both requirements may apply as determined by the design registration application. Additionally an applicant must demonstrate compliance to the NFPA 160 Standard for the Use of Flame Effects Before an Audience as this is considered a best practice document for these applications.

Additional Requirements

Once a Design has been registered an acceptance letter will be provided to the client. The acceptance letter allows the client to obtain the required Product Approval permit after completing the Product Approval application through this link: product approval permit (Form 500).

An Installation permit is also required before starting to install the appliance, after which the required assessment can be requested.

Note: BC Safety Authority issues gas installation permits for the Province of British Columbia, except for these noted municipalities; for natural gas only based on the following criteria. 

Municipalities issue gas installation permits for single family dwellings or if the gas meter pressure is 2PSI or less, and/or if the total connected load to the gas meter is 409,600 BTU/hr or less 

Please contact the applicable authority having jurisdiction for the specified installation permit requirements of that area. 

No matter what jurisdiction issues the installation permit, for final acceptance of the design registered piece of equipment, a BCSA Gas Safety Officer is required to be contacted in order to approve the completed appliance and affix the numbered Product Approval decal. Only then will the appliance be authorized to operate.

Brad Wyatt
Provincial Safety Manager - Gas 

Safety Standards Act
Gas Safety Regulation
CSA B149.1 - Natural gas and propane installation code
CSA B149.3 - Code for the field approval of fuel-related components on appliances and equipment