How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From A House

Bill Taylor
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Where To Locate Your Fire Pit

Allowing a 20-foot-diameter or pool of water around your outdoor fire pit is good practice for fire safety while using it for cooking or for entertainment.

When carrying firewood and transporting it near a wood burning fireplace make sure to allow ample room around the fire for safety.

Whenever you have an open flame be mindful of where you place it, and how you use it.

Before you contemplate having an outdoor fire pit, be sure you are in compliance with your local fire department.

There are also state rules and regulations that must be considered so you do not get fined and possibly have your fire pit confiscated.

While information is out there on fire pits, it is not easy to find all of the information you need. Some fire pits are in unincorporated areas. Some are near places that are used for some or all of the year. Your best bet is to call your local county or fire department or the state fire department and ask for their requirements and restrictions. If they can’t give you the information, they can surely help you find someone that can.

What Kind Of Fuel To Use

In My Fire Pit?

When you start looking at fire pits, you'll notice they come in a few different styles and some are made of different materials. When you're deciding which style fire pit is right for you, you'll want to consider three things: the material, the style, and the fuel system.

The material you select for your backyard fire pit is going to be important, especially if you plan to use it frequently or leave it outside over the winter. There are a couple of materials that are more frequently used in the construction of fire pits. The most common material is cast iron, which is a very durable material that has great heat retention properties. Another material that is very popular is ceramic, which is very attractive since it comes in many styles and colors. Ceramic tends to be a little more expensive, but tends to be a little more resistant to cracking.

Your fire pit design is another important factor to consider when selecting the right fire pit for your backyard. Fire pits that have grills or have large containers are great for cooking; you can easily make some nice s'mores or cook up some tasty steak. If you're interested in something that you can sit around but don't plan on cooking with, then consider a fire pit with a shallow bowl.

Natural Gas

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) specifies 25 feet (7.62 meters) as a minimum distance for a gas appliance like a fire pit from a structure, but 10 feet is the accepted standard. The NFPA assumes the gas appliance is a single appliance rather than an aggregate of appliances like a fire pit surrounded by a grill or an outdoor kitchen. You should also take common sense measures, where applicable, like removing obstacles like shrubs, trees, and brush.

The NFPA states that gas appliances require permanent and continuous supervision, while liquefied petroleum gas appliances do not need permanent supervision. The fire pit, grill, and fireplace may not require continuous supervision, but if these appliances are used concurrently, more stringent guidelines become necessary. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that a gas leak detector is available. A gas leak detector is a portable device, that can be used by anyone possessing basic technical skills. It will detect the presence of gas and can be used to evacuate an area, until a gas technician arrives to mitigate the situation.

In addition to the required distance between the fire pit and the house, NFPA standards dictate air intakes and vents are never blocked by bushes, shrubs or trees. The vents should be unobstructed at all times to maintain proper air flow.

Propane gas

Is a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Every year, thousands of Californians are diagnosed with cancer. Propane is a natural byproduct of many foods, including milk, vegetables, coffee, and even cooking oils. Propane is also a common ingredient in the treatment of tap water to maintain sanitation. In addition, Redwood trees can also emit Propane into the air. Without Propane present in the air we wouldn’t have much of a reason to have a fire, so you’re welcome for that. Attention Propane users, Propane can cause both cancer and birth defects in babies. Propane is often released into air during the Burning of a fire.

Gel fuel

The real safety hazard is if your fire pit gets too close to a structure or tree.

The fire hazard is real, as the sparks can hit brick, siding or bark and ignite a fire, which will travel upward. First, consider the distance to the tree. Any advice doesn’t worth much if it doesn’t work for your particular situation. Here’s a list of recommended distances. Read on.

Masonry fireplaces – 1/4 to 1/6th the distance of the span to the fireplace.

Wood fireplaces – Move the fire pit away from the wall. If the siding touches the fire pit, remove the siding.

Decks or patios – 1/2 to 1/3 of the length of the deck away from the house and deck.

Garages with living space above – Check your local building codes, but it’s always a good idea to keep a fire pit at least 20 feet from the garage.

Outdoor patio – Keep the pit at least 10 feet from the patio screen. Again, consider the local building codes for minimum distances here too.

Fire Pit Safety

Before you start buying materials for your fire pit, you may want to think about safety. Fire pits increase the risk of fire in the general area where they’re located. So when you choose a site, think about the fire pit’s proximity to where people are going to gather. Also, take into consideration any flammable trees or vegetation.

Leaving enough space around the fire pit and surrounding it with stone or dirt will also help keep the fire contained.

You should also install a fire pit safely away from the house. Ideally, there should be 1 meter (3 feet) between the house and the fire pit. Even a fire pit that is 1 meter away from the house is still considered kindling for the house. In addition to increasing the risk of a house fire, a fire pit closer than 1 meter to the house increases the risk of overheating the house.

When choosing a location, survey the land at different times of the day. If you notice shadowing, it might be an indication that there are trees, bushes, or tall grasses that could ignite easily and join the fire pit’s flame.

Fire pits should also be placed further away from any combustible buildings like wood structures or even a shed. If you don’t have enough space for your fire pit, consider altering its shape.