Where can fire pits be used?

Fire pits can be enjoyed in a variety of locations. If the proper measures are taken, you can safely use your fire pit without concern of any damage to your property. In this post we will look at the places that are good to use a fire pit. We will also look at how to set up your space depending on where you will use your fire pit. Finally, we will take a look at where you shouldn't use your fire pit and the dangers that can arise.

General Guidelines

  • Choose a safe distance from all structures
  • Protect the surface where you will place your fire pit
  • Never use a fire pit near flammable materials
  • You need good air circulation, never use a fire pit indoors
  • Anything above your fire pit has the potential to catch on fire

Wood decks

Wood decks are a favorite location for getting together. Nothing brings a group together like a fire pit.

The first thing you should do when using your fire pit on a wood deck is check that the legs are tight. The fire pit should not wobble. Also, all of the legs should sit on strong parts of the deck. If there are any spots that are uneven or damaged, don't put your fire pit there.

As another precaution, your deck should not be dry rotted. Dry rot wood can catch on fire faster than well maintained pressure treated lumber.

Once you have found the right spot to put your fire pit on the deck, place a heat shield or rubber mat down. This will keep the heat away from the wood deck. Some fire pits come with heat shields. If your pit has a heat shield, then you don't need to put one down.

You may also want to put down a protective mat around the fire pit. This will protect your deck in case someone drops a hot skewer, poker, or metal screen.

Grass

Grass is probably the most common place to put a fire pit. Grass is a very safe place to put your fire pit. Follow a few guidelines and your grass will be unharmed while you have fun.

First, your grass should not be excessively dry. Especially be careful of clumps of dry grass. Any dry grass can catch on fire easily.

Second, the ground where you place your fire pit needs to be level. Placing your fire pit on uneven ground can make it susceptible to tipping over.

Third, place a piece of metal or rubber under your fire pit to protect your grass. Fire pits can become very hot and may singe or scorch your lawn. Also, make sure your fire pit isn't rusted through or have any holes in the bottom. Fire and embers can fall through holes in the bottom and burn your grass.

Fourth, don't leave your fire pit in the same spot for prolong periods of time. Move it around when it is not hot. This will keep the grass from dying underneath your pit.

Sidewalk

The sidewalk is a good place to put your fire pit. The biggest concern is how close the pit is to structures and other things that can catch on fire. You also have to be considerate of your neighbors. If they want to walk on the sidewalk, you may be blocking them.

There may also be local ordinances that limit or prevent you from using your fire pit on the sidewalk. If the sidewalk is private, then you probably don't have to worry about any of the issues except how close you are to structures and property lines.

Driveway

Your driveway is an excellent place to use your fire pit. You have to follow your local laws on how far away your fire pit needs to be from your house or other buildings.

You should move all of your vehicles a safe distance from your fire pit. You also need to make sure there are no heavy spots of oil or other flammable materials on your driveway.

If you share a driveway, get permission from your neighbor before setting up your fire pit.

Sand

The temperature emitted by your fire pit shouldn't be hot enough to burn sand. This makes sand a good place to use a fire pit.

As with every other place you use your fire pit, your pit needs to be level in the sand. If the sand is packed and already level, then you just need to put the fire pit in place. If the sand is loose and not level, then you should push the pit evenly into the sand so that it has a firm footing and is level.

Mud

Mud, in most cases, is a surface that won't burn from the heat coming from your fire pit. I say it won't burn in most cases because mud can contain flammable or combustible chemicals such as oil or coal.

With that said, most mud is safe to use your fire pit on. Like sand, your biggest concern is making sure your fire pit is level on the mud.

Concrete pavers

Concrete pavers can be placed on many surfaces. Concrete is very resistant to heat. This makes concrete pavers a good choice to place your fire pit on.

Wharf

Just like a wood deck (see wood deck above), a wharf can be a good spot to use your fire pit. Be sure the wharf is sturdy and the wood is not rotten. Also, you need to have an escape route in case the wharf does catch fire. You don't want to be trapped on one end of the wharf if it did catch on fire.

Where not to use a fire pit

Just as there are good places to use your fire pit, there are places you should not use your fire pit. Please read the information below and consider it before you use your fire pit.

Pergola

Pergolas are made of wood. They also are in the air. Placing a fire pit under a pergola could catch it on fire. The flames rising from the fire pit can reach up to pergola's covering and catch on fire. A pergola is not a safe place to use a fire pit.

Boat

A boat is not a safe place to use a fire pit. A boat is the object that is keeping you afloat on water. It is your lifeline in the water. A fire pit can present a dangerous situation on a boat. If something catches on fire from your fire pit, you will have no where to go but into the water.

Covered Patio

It should be fairly obvious that a covered patio is not a good place to use a fire pit. The heat rising from your fire pit can damage your patio's ceiling. It is possible for your patio to catch on fire from the flames rising from your pit.

Screened in Porch

Just like a covered patio, a screened in porch presents a dangerous situation for using a fire pit. The heat and flames from your fire pit can catch your porch on fire. Also, a screened in porch doesn't allow enough airflow and may trap smoke. This can cause life threatening gases to fill the air under your porch. A fire pit should not be used under a screened in porch.

Indoors

You should never use a fire pit indoors. Fire produces carbon monoxide, as well as, other dangerous gases. These gases displace the oxygen you need to breath and will suffocate anyone in the house. In addition, the flames rising from your fire pit can catch the building on fire.

Truck Bed

A truck bed is not a good place to use a fire pit. Trucks have gasoline or diesel inside of them. You should never use a fire pit on or close to anything that has flammable material.

Conclusion

There are some good places you can use your fire pit. Take the right steps to make the place you choose a safe place to operate your fire pit.

There are also some places you should avoid when using a fire pit. Analyze any spot your are thinking of using and ask yourself if there are any potential dangers that would make that spot not a good spot for your fire pit. If you are unsure, contact your local fire department or zoning department for guidance.