How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From A House?

As serene as it sounds to relax sitting around a cozy fire pit, safety is equally important. According to U.S. Fire Administration, 5,000 people get hurt by fire from wood-burning, propane gas, or charcoal every year. So, how far should a fire pit be from a house for safety?

A fire pit should be 10 to 20 feet far from a house. And that’s the minimum distance. The farther, the better. Make sure the pit is 10 to 20 feet far from any tree, bush, porch, or anything that can cause the fire to spread.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the safety concerns where fire pits are concerned.

Guideline For Using A Fire Pit

Even though there are alternatives to a fire pit for outdoor heating, most people prefer a fire pit. And for good reasons. It’s natural, beautiful, and offers a coziness that alternatives can’t.

However, to ensure a safe and cozy experience from a fire pit, you’ll have to follow some guidelines.  

Proper Placement

You’ll have to maintain a minimum distance from your house while installing a fire pit. Moreover, there shouldn’t be any trees, shrubs, bushes, etc., near the pit. There’s an easy way to ensure this.

Imagine a circle with a  10 or 20 feet radius. If there isn’t any flammable object, including your house inside that circle, the place is perfect.

Sparks from a fire pit go way up. More than you can imagine. There is no reason you should take any risks.

Avoid placing your fire pit on a surface full of grass, wood, or flammable objects. Instead, use ceramic, brick, concrete, or stone surfaces to light the fire. Make sure the ground isn’t uneven where you plan to place the fire pit.

Also, check if there are any power lines where your fire pit will be. Mind the wind’s direction before lighting the fire.


Avoid using kerosene, gas, lighter fluid, or alcohol to start a fire in the pit. If you’ve used matchsticks, make sure they’re put out properly before discarding them. You can use water to dip the matches to make sure they’re completely extinguished.

As for the wood you’re using, use dry and seasoned wood. It’s better if they’ve been cut at least six months earlier. Also, use longs that are three quarters or shorter in length than the fire pit. It ensures lower spark to increase safety.

Preparation For Emergencies

You never know when a friendly fire will turn into a hazard. It takes only a few seconds for a fire pit to get out of control. Be prepared before even lighting the fire.

Sand will help extinguish the fire. A bucket of sand is a convenient backup plan to keep near at hand. Keep a fire extinguisher and garden hose around too. It’s not that you’ll need them for sure, but it’s always better to be prepared.

Keep the smoke detectors in check if they’re working. In case the fire goes out of control, you’ll need a warning. Last but not the least, keep a first-aid box near in case someone gets hurt.

Stay Safe And Keep Your Kids In Check

If there are any children present, you’ll have to be extra careful. Don’t forget to teach them how dangerous fire can be. And why they should stay away from the pit.

It would be better to place campfire chairs at least 3 feet away. The smoke produced from the fire can be harmful. The farther your children stay from the fire, the better.

Never leave the children unattended around the fire. Even though they know not to go near the fire, anything can happen without adult supervision.

As for yourself, don’t face downward where the fire pit is. It can cause more smoke to enter your lungs. Smokes can cause drowsiness, shortness of breath, and disorientation. Stay as safe as possible from the smoke produced by the fire pit.

When You’re Done

Always put out the fire properly before you leave the pit unattended. It’s better to extinguish the fire once all the wood logs have been burnt to ash. Then, you can use water to put the fire out.

Use a stick to stir the ashes. Make sure there isn’t anything still burning inside. Leave the area only when the ashes have cooled down.

So, How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From A House?

With everything being said, it’s better to keep the fire pit at least 10 feet away. Better yet, keep it 20 feet away. Be extra careful if you have a porch.

As long as you’re following a few basic instructions, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a warm and cozy environment in chilly weather. But remember, your house isn’t the only flammable thing on your property.

Fire Pit Alternatives

Fire pits are a trendy outdoor heating arrangement. But it also comes with some risks and extra chores. If you’re not particularly interested in fire pits and only want an outdoor heating source, there are other options.

You can either go for a gas-powered heater or an infrared heater. Gas-powered heaters are powered with butane or propane. They can cover a large area but get affected by the wind.

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Infrared heaters, on the other hand, do not require any fuel tank. They use electricity as a power source. So, you can easily use them by plugging them into an electric outlet. Besides, they don’t get affected by the wind.

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Bottom Line

If you’ve decided to get a nice and cozy fire pit, enlighten yourself with the rules and the guidelines. If you’re a renter, check with your property owner if it’s allowed to install a fire pit or not. Also, check if the area allows you to install a fire pit. Design it in an intelligent way that fills all safety measurements. As for how far should a fire pit be from a house, go for 10 to 20 feet at least.

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