Your cart (0)
Skip to content

How Far Should a Fire Pit Be From the House?

To safely enjoy the benefits of a fire pit, it's crucial to consider a number of factors before proceeding with building one. One of the major concerns is how far a fire pit should be from the house.  Having one too close to your abode is a major fire hazard, could break local regulations, and cause issues with your homeowner's insurance.  The Dangers of Having...

How Far Should a Fire Pit Be From the House?

To safely enjoy the benefits of a fire pit, it's crucial to consider a number of factors before proceeding with building one. One of the major concerns is how far a fire pit should be from the house.  Having one too close to your abode is a major fire hazard, could break local regulations, and cause issues with your homeowner's insurance. 

The Dangers of Having a Fire Pit Too Close to the House

Having a fire pit too close to the house poses significant dangers that can compromise your personal safety and the integrity of your property. Here are some key risks associated with placing a fire pit too close to a house:

  • Fire Risk: The most immediate and severe danger is the risk of fire spreading to the house. Sparks, embers, or even flames can ignite surrounding materials (such as siding, outdoor fixtures, or nearby vegetation.) Once a fire starts, it can spread rapidly, causing extensive damage to the entire home.
  • Structural Damage: Intense heat from a fire pit, especially if it's a wood-burning one, can cause damage to the exterior of the house — even if the flames never come in contact with the home. Damage includes charring or discoloration of siding, melting of vinyl components, and potential damage to windows.
  • Smoke Damage: Placing a fire pit too close to the house can lead to the accumulation of smoke and soot on exterior surfaces. Over time, this can stain and damage the building materials, requiring costly cleaning or maintenance.
  • Carbon Monoxide Exposure: Fire pits burning wood or charcoal can produce carbon monoxide. If the fire pit is too close to the house and there isn't adequate ventilation, there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide entering the home, posing a serious health hazard.
  • Flying Embers: Wood fire pits, particularly, can emit sparks and embers during burning. If the fire pit is too close to the house, these hot particles can land on the roof or in the gutters potentially leading to extensive damage.
  • Compromised Air Quality: Placing a fire pit close to the house can affect the indoor air quality. Smoke and particulate matter can enter the home through open windows or ventilation systems, causing respiratory issues and discomfort for those inside. 
  • Regulatory Consequences: Many localities have strict regulations regarding the placement of fire pits and outdoor fire features. Placing a fire pit too close to the house may violate these regulations, leading to fines and legal consequences.

How Far Should a Fire Pit Be From the House

Where to put the fire pit is not just a question of aesthetics. Safety should be your number one concern. Follow these guidelines when making your outdoor design plans: 

Local Regulations and Codes

Before determining the exact distance for your fire pit, it's essential to check local regulations and building codes. Many municipalities have specific guidelines regarding the installation and use of outdoor fire features. These regulations may dictate minimum distances from permanent structures, property lines, or other combustible materials (like natural gas lines.) Failure to comply with these rules could result in fines or, more importantly, compromise the safety of your home.

Type of Fire Pit

The type of fire pit you choose can change its recommended distance from your house. There are various fire pit fuel options, including wood, gas, and propane. A good rule of thumb is at least 10 feet from the house, but you may need as much as 25 feet. It isn't just the flames you need to consider, but also the emissions produced by the fire.

Clearance from Combustible Materials

Regardless of the type of fire pit, maintaining adequate clearance from combustible materials is crucial. Have a gas grill? A shed full of gas-powered lawn equipment? These need to be considered as well as the distance from the home. Remember to have a minimum of 10 feet of clearance between the fire pit and any combustible materials.

Wind Direction and Intensity

Consider the prevailing wind direction in your area when positioning your fire pit. Sparks and embers can travel, posing a risk to nearby structures (your neighbor's home needs to be considered as well!) If possible, position the fire pit so that the prevailing winds carry the smoke away from inhabited spaces. Additionally, avoid using the fire pit on excessively windy days when the risk of embers spreading is higher.

Surface Material

Where you place the fire pit matters not only in terms of distance but also in relation to the surface it sits on. Ensure that the fire pit is on a non-combustible surface such as concrete, brick, or stone. This helps prevent accidental fires caused by heat transfer to flammable materials around the fire pit like fences or outdoor furniture.

Vegetation

The house isn't the only thing that can burn in the vicinity of your fire pit. Consider trees, shrubs, and permanent planters when building your fire pit. Flames that jump to a nearby tree could easily make their way to your house.

Safety Is Your Number One Concern

While the exact distance from the house you build your fire pit may vary based on factors such as local regulations and the layout of your property, it's essential to prioritize safety. By following these guidelines and considering the specific conditions of your outdoor space, you can create a welcoming and secure environment for enjoying the warmth of a fire pit without putting your home at risk. 

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when incorporating fire features into your outdoor living space.

Other Articles You May Like