As the weather cools, many homeowners crave the warmth of a fire pit in their yard. They’re readily available, but here are a few considerations before you decide to put a fire pit in your yard.
Portable Fire Pits
Today, you can buy stylish portable fire pits in a variety of metals and finishes. Renters may choose portable so they can take the fire pit with them when they move. Homeowners may want a portable unit if they’re occasional users, they’re still landscaping, or they’re uncertain whether it suits their yard and lifestyle.
Anyone might choose a portable fire pit if they want flexibility. Pick up unit, carry it in a vehicle, and use it while camping or picnicking.
Portable units usually run on propane or natural gas, although some fire pit tables and bowls burn wood. They’re great for yards where space is a concern, and fire pit tables have a ledge around the perimeter to safely hold food and drink.
Permanent Fire Pits
As the name suggests, a permanent fire pit stays put. It is built into the ground and intended to provide years of use. Typically they’re made of durable materials such as stone, brick, concrete, or metal and a custom builder can coordinate the materials, style, and color to your home.
Alternatively, you can enjoy cost savings if you buy a pre-fab kit and either install it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Permanent fire pits may burn gas or wood. Gas is quickly becoming very popular with the fuel delivered through a line or storage tank.
All fire pits must be located away from combustibles such as bushes, sheds, low-hanging branches, etc. Also check local building and zoning codes since requirements can vary between regions. However, most municipalities require the fire pit to sit at least 10 feet away from structures including your home, fences, shed, garage, etc.
Gas lines and connections and electrical must be performed by qualified professionals and may require permits and inspections.
Fire Pit Safety
The National Fire Protection Association recommend the following to prevent fires and injuries:
- Don’t light fires in high winds
- Don’t light fires with gasoline, white gas, or lighter fluid
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fire
- Don’t wear loose or flammable clothing near the fire
- Always burn hard woods in a wood burning fire pit
- Keep the garden hose or a fire extinguisher nearby
- Dispose of ashes in a metal container and then pour water over them.
In many regions insurers require you to disclose the fire pit when you apply or renew your home insurance. This is especially true in wildfire prone areas.
You will also want to ensure that the coverage limits of your policy sufficiently protect you from potential injuries or property damage that could result from the fire pit.
Your agent may suggest additional coverage for an expensive, custom fire pit as the cost to replace it will almost certainly be more than when you originally built it and your policy limit for unattached structures may not cover it.