November 2013 - Code Compliance

Residential Garages and Solid-Fuel Heating…

November 1, 2013


Prior to installing a solid-fuel burning appliance in a garage it must be determined how the garage is being utilized. 

Aside from cars and trucks, homeowners often store motorcycles, all-terrain-vehicles, lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws and other assorted equipment that all burn fuel.  Residential garages are also often used by do-it-yourself mechanics where oil, grease, jerry cans, propane, solvents, and other flammables can be present.

Any flammable liquid that leaks or is spilled quickly evaporates, and the vapours are usually heavier than air, so they spread out at floor level.  Then all it takes is an ignition source to ignite a flash fire.

Garages that are converted into woodworking or crafting workshops are also dangerous.  Highly flammable oils and solvents are commonly used and, dust that gets kicked up into the air by cutting, planning, or sanding could be potentially explosive.


The CSA B365 “Installation Code for Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliances and Equipment” states;

 4.3  Hazardous Locations

An appliance shall not be installed in a location where a corrosive atmosphere, flammable gas or vapour, combustible dust, or combustible fibres might be present.  An appliance may be installed in a

(a) storage or residential garage, provided that the appliance is mounted at least 450 mm (18 in.) above floor level and protected against physical damage; or

(b) commercial repair garage or other facility used for the maintenance of equipment that might involve volatile flammable substances, provided that 

(i) the appliance is located in a room that is separated from the remainder of the building by a vapour-tight fire separation;

(ii) the room specified in item (i) is not directly accessible from the location of the volatile substances; and

(iii) all duct penetrations of the vapour-tight fire separation are located at least 2 m (6.5 ft) above the floor level.


The CSA B365 wording clearly prohibits a solid-fuel-burning appliance within a garage that is being used for what would be traditional vehicle storage purposes.  It is the same reason that most insurance companies will not provide coverage if a solid-fuel-burning appliance is installed within a garage.