What’s a cozier way to spend a cold night outdoors than enjoying the warmth of an open flame under the shade?
So, you might wonder if you can put a fire pit under a gazebo.
Some say it’s a no-go, while others will tell you to go for it. I have the exact answer you’re looking for!
Fire pits and gazebos can elevate your outdoor living experience. The good news is that you can enjoy them together!
However, putting a fire pit under a gazebo requires thoughtful planning and safety precautions.
Open flames pose a fire hazard, and introducing an ignition source within a semi-enclosed space can lead to accidents or even a fire.
Read on for my comprehensive guide on safe and proper fire pit placement inside a gazebo.
Here are the essential factors to keep in mind:
Bioethanol fire pits are exceptionally well-suited for use in gazebos. For one, they’re smokeless, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
Additionally, bioethanol releases only minute traces of carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that’s toxic in high amounts.
Gas fire pits that use propane or natural gas are another practical choice for a gazebo, especially with adequate air circulation. Unlike wood fire pits, they offer precise control of the heat intensity and don’t produce fire-causing sparks and embers.
Meanwhile, a wood-burning fire pit or chiminea in a gazebo is a disaster waiting to happen. It generates intense heat that can weaken or damage surrounding structures.
Permanent or hardtop gazebos made of metal, stone, or cement are suitable for accommodating fire pits. Meanwhile, plastic or fabric gazebos are flammable and not recommended for use with fire pits.
The next thing to consider is the square footage of your gazebo. A standard 12×12-foot gazebo should leave ample room between the fire pit and furniture.
Small gazebos below six feet high are susceptible to heat damage, including cracking and charring. So, ensure your gazebo has a height of at least 10 feet and open sides to allow proper ventilation.
3 – Gazebo Materials and Furniture
The pillars and flooring should be made with non-combustible materials, like concrete or natural stone. Avoid wood or canvas pillars that are more prone to catching fire.
For wooden or vinyl decks, use a fire pit mat to protect them from getting scorched and starting an accidental fire. The mat should extend 24 inches in all directions from the edge of the fire pit.
When it comes to gazebo furniture and decor, choose non-flammable materials like metal and clay to reduce the risk of ignition.
Fire safety takes a lot of common sense, but it’s essential to examine local fire codes regarding backyard fire pits. You’ll want to check with your fire department to see if recreational fire is even allowed in your area.
Outdoor fire pits are legal in most locations, but a few places require a permit for their use. For instance, you must obtain a permit before you can set up a backyard fire pit or campfire in Summit County, Colorado.
Also, review the local guidelines and HOA rules on how far you can place a fire pit away from your house.
Aside from accidental fires, the fumes and smoke can drift toward your neighbor’s house, depending on where the wind blows. To avoid any issues, examine the regulations on the recommended distance between the backyard fire and the edge of your property.
The first rule is to keep the fire pit at a safe distance from your house, as well as other structures such as fences, sheds, and vegetation like trees and shrubs.
Ideally, your gazebo should be around 10–20 feet from your house. There should be an overhead clearance of at least 21 feet above the fire pit for hanging branches or foliage.
Also, your fire pit should be at least five feet away from anything flammable, including furniture, draperies, cushions, and roof overhangs.
Of course, the more open space and fewer obstructions around your gazebo, the safer it will be.
Gas fire pits are generally a safer alternative when considering putting a fire pit under a gazebo. Here’s why:
- You have better control of the flames with a gas fire pit. It’s easy to ignite and extinguish, so there’s less risk of an uncontrolled fire.
- Gas fire pits produce less smoke than wood-burning ones. Your gazebo’s interiors are less likely to get discolored from soot.
- Because you can adjust the heat output of a gas fire pit, there’s less chance of heat damage to your gazebo and the furniture in it.
However, gas fire pits give off toxic fumes like carbon monoxide. Although carbon monoxide dissipates in the open air, it can quickly build up in enclosed spaces or poorly ventilated areas.
That said, your gazebo should have wide openings and vents for proper airflow to disperse these gases.
Consider these practical tips for disaster-free gazebo gatherings around the fire pit:
- Roll back any side covers, curtains, or screens when the fire pit is on.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and other fire safety tools nearby in case of emergencies.
- Supervise the fire pit all the time when it’s in use. Never leave it unattended, especially when you have kids and pets around.
- Teach everyone in your household about fire safety and emergency procedures.
- Trim or remove any overhanging branches or leaves that are potential fire risks.
- Check the weather and air quality forecasts before using your fire pit. Don’t start a fire on windy days, especially when there’s a no-burn alert in your area.
Note: A no-burn alert prohibits all wood-burning activities when there are high particulate levels in a region.
You can put a fire pit under your gazebo to transform your outdoor living space into a cozy retreat.
Before setting everything up, make sure to check your local regulations and follow all safety precautions.
With careful planning, you can keep the good times rolling without any unpleasant surprises!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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