COVID-19: Information for our clients

Don’t Let Patio Season End: Heat Options for the Outdoors - Blog

By Staebler Insurance On Nov 16, 2020

In Canada, patio season is a rite of spring. Unfortunately when our fall season hits, it usually signals the end of those patios – but this year is different. Bars and restaurants are going to need to rely on outdoor dining to stay in business, while individuals are trying to extend their home patio season to entertain friends and family in a safer place.

As the second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, it is important to remain up to date with the rules around gatherings. As of November 16, 2020, Ontario regions in the orange (restrict) tier, including Waterloo Region, the outdoor gathering limit is 25 persons.


Some popular heating options include freestanding or mounted heaters, fire pits, lanterns, and fire pit tables. Keep these tips in mind if you’re planning on installing any type of outdoor heating system:

· Safety First

Be sure to keep your fuel source safe and secure. Many outdoor heaters use propane as their fuel so it is important to be deliberate about how you move the tank and where you store the extra tanks. Others use natural gas so be sure to have a secure connection between your home and the unit.

· Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right spot for your heater is key: Think about where you will be spending most of your time. Does the fuel source come from the house? Also plan to keep it away from any overhangs, trees, outdoor umbrellas and any other flammable items. It’s important to have good airflow while being close to your seating area.

· Keep Kids at Bay

Like any piece of equipment it is a good idea to keep any children at a safe distance. Discuss with them the risks and dangers of heating mechanisms and the possibility of open flames. Consider where the kids will be sitting or playing and make sure there is a safe buffer zone between. Never leave the unit running when there isn’t adult supervision nearby.

· Right Side of the Law

Every city has bylaws that restrict the use of outdoor fire places, backyard chimineas or other heating elements. Before shopping for your new outdoor appliance, be sure to check on your city’s rules and regulations. You may be surprised to learn that your city restricts the size, fuel source, output, and/or location. Other places may have fire bans in place during certain times of year. Better to be safe than sorry.

· Keep Instructions Close by

We know those manufacturer’s guides are pretty boring documents but could prove quite valuable if you encounter a stubborn device. Consider placing the instructions in a safe but an easy to access place. Nothing can be worse than experiencing a glitch with your new unit and you’re not being able to solve it. Keep those instructions handy.

Accidents happen, we get it. Even if everyone follows the best practices and all of the safety guidelines, something can go wrong. That’s why you have an insurance broker to help you when the unexpected pops up. We’re here when life’s accidents happen. Contact your broker today or get started with a free quote.