Some cities allow fire pits on balconies and others do not. If you live in an area that does allow the use of fire pits on balconies for outside enjoyment, then there are many reasons why having a fire pit would be ideal.
Why not get cozy this winter with friends while watching the flames dance? And if you’re feeling ambitious, try throwing some s’mores into the mix!
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But before purchasing a fire pit or getting too excited about all of these fun possibilities, let’s look at some building regulations first.
Can You Have a Fire Pit On a Balcony?
In general, fire pits are safe to use on balconies and decks as long as they’re placed at least three feet from any railing, and at least five feet away from walls.
You should also be sure to place the fire pit in an area where it can’t be easily knocked over.
The fire pit should be located outside in a well-ventilated area. If you plan to use the fire pit indoors, make sure it is UL listed and has been certified for indoor installation by IAPMO or local regulatory agencies.
Make sure that your balcony, deck, or patio provides enough ventilation as well! A good tip would be to read reviews from others who have purchased this item before buying it yourself, just so you can get their opinion of how easy or hard the setup was.
Also: if at all possible try not to place the firepit too close to any curtains or other flammable items like carpeting; these materials may pose an increased risk when exposed directly next to a source of ignition like flames (in this case, the fire pit)
What Does The Law Say About Balcony Fire Pits?
If you plan on installing a fire pit on your balcony, it’s best to check with your local codes enforcement office before doing anything.
They’ll be able to give you the necessary permits and approvals for installing an outdoor fireplace in your area. In some jurisdictions, there are restrictions about what type of fuel can be used and how big a fire is allowed.
This includes types of wood (e.g., untreated lumber) that may not be safe near homes and other combustible materials like concrete patios or green roofs where they could easily catch on fire because of their close proximity to the roofing material.
If you are unclear regarding your local laws and/or HOA/Property Management covenants, contact a fire department or HOA/property management personnel for clarification.
As an example of how common-sense rules and regulations can help keep HOA communities safe, the Community Association Underwriters of America (CAU) recommends that fire pits be prohibited on balconies.
Local Fire Pits On Balcony Laws
In my investigation learned that many municipalities in the United States have turned to international fire codes when considering residents’ rights to open flame on residential balconies.
As per the official website for IFC, “the International Fire Code is used or adopted in 42 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
“IFC section 904 doesn’t specifically mention anything about open flames outdoors but does state: “
The use of automatic sprinkler protection shall not be limited automatically by a plan area classification.”
What’s the International Fire Code (IFC)? The International Fire Code (IFC) is an important set of standards for fire safety. The IFC was established in various editions by the National Fire Protection Association and published as a public document, with updates being approved on three-year cycles. It’s best to update your knowledge about these codes because they cover topics like emergency services, building design, and construction, electrical systems, hazardous materials handling, plumbing systems—among other things.
The IFC States:
Open flames or other man-made heat sources are not permitted in any enclosed space, balconies within 10 feet of any structures that are combustible, Unless:
- The balcony is attached to a single-family home or duplex
- The balcony has a sprinkler system that has been automated
These rules reduce the risk to a smaller number of people in smaller structures and ensure that if a fire did start due to the use of fire pits, it could be contained quickly to minimize damage.
Conclusion: If you have an automatic sprinkler system on your balcony, you may be able to use a fire pit, regardless of the size of your balcony
Other Common Laws, Rules, Regulations That May Impact Balcony Fire Pit Use
When looking into using a fire pit on your balcony (or any other place), you need to check the regulations for that area.
Some restrictions Include:
If your house is connected with another home then it would likely need some type of permit approval before adding a fireplace on the balcony or patio area.
It’s also important to note that gas grills are generally prohibited by most municipalities because they release carbon monoxide which can accumulate inside buildings when doors are left open due to drafty conditions outside.
The rules vary depending on where you live so make sure you contact your local municipality about what applies to your situation and always check prior to installing anything new!
Many cities forbid balcony fire pits completely, due to concerns about at-risk buildings and other local conditions.
Other municipalities, mostly rural ones, will ban all outdoor open flames in an effort to reduce the risk of starting wildfires during dry conditions.
Gas fire pits are usually exempt from this restriction because they don’t typically produce sparks or embers that could ignite a nearby fire. Authorization is usually given on a case-by-case basis as needed.
Safety Tips For Using A Fire Pit On Balcony
- Ensure everything flammable is at least 7 feet away from the fire
- Have a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher nearby to quickly put out any small fires
- A spark shield or ember mat can help contain rogue flames.
- It is important that you do not use any flammable materials or liquids.
- Keep children and pets away from the fire at all times.
- Before lighting the fire, be sure to check the direction of the wind.
- What you burn should only have been seasoned hardwoods.
- Finally, keep the size of your flame smaller so it is easier to control
What Kind Of Fire Pit Can I Use On A Balcony?
A gas fire pit is an excellent option for those who have balconies. Gas fire pits are portable, so you can easily move them around your balcony or apartment and they typically use less propane than a standard patio heater.
There’s also the benefit of not having to worry about running out of fuel at inopportune moments! If you don’t like the idea of using gas on your balcony because someone could get hurt if there was an accident, then consider getting one that uses electric ignition instead.
I find many propane fire pits on the market that are designed with an external tank. But I typically rule these out because they have a hose leading to the pit which presents a trip hazard.
I don’t like any type of gas tank near my fire pit, so I normally exclude them from my search results.
When space is at a minimum, I like a table-type propane fire pit where the fuel source (propane tank or bottle) is stored inside of it.
Another major benefit of many table-type propane fireplaces is that they can be used as extra outdoor dining space when their fires stop producing heat.
Top 3 Table Fire Pits For Balcony
The propane gas fire pit comes with an attachable stand that can be used as a table for small gatherings or meals. The unit also includes lava rocks and glass beads to create the perfect ambiance in your backyard, patio, or garden area.
The Bali Outdoor Gas Fire Pit Table with 28-inch diameter is a great option for those who want to enjoy their gas fire pit or just have extra seating around the table.
The 50,000 BTU design allows you to get the perfect temperature while outside on colder days as well as providing enough heat in milder weather.
With an adjustable piezo ignition system this unit has all of the features that any outdoor enthusiast would need and then some!
This sturdy metal steel construction makes it durable when used outdoors but also means there are no worries about rusting out your nice furniture indoors if you decide to bring it inside during inclement weather.
The Outland Living 410 Series – 36-Inch Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Table is a great outdoor centerpiece. This fire table provides the perfect ambiance for any occasion and will be sure to impress your guests instantly.
The propane gas unit has an LED mood lighting system incorporated into it, which can change colors at the push of a button.
There are four different color settings that range from vibrant blues to calming yellows or reds.
To further customize this item you can add additional decorative stones to create your own unique design with ease!
A three-foot flame height adjustment means that there’s no need for constant readjustment if more people show up or if you’re cooking on top of the table like some delicious shrimp tacos!
Can You Have a Propane Fire Pit On a Palcony?
The answer is yes. You can have a propane fire pit on your balcony, but you need to be aware of the dangers and safety precautions.
Propane gas fires are more dangerous than wood-burning fires because they release combustible gases that can asphyxiate people inside an enclosed space like a home or apartment building if not properly ventilated.
This means they must never be used indoors in apartments or condos with no ventilation system installed for combustion byproducts to escape outside through a chimney-like flue pipe running up from the bottom of the unit’s fireplace all the way out past its roofline before releasing into the open air.
Can You Use a Fire Pit On a Balcony In The UK?
As of right now, there are no laws that prohibit residents from having a fire pit on their balconies. However, it’s highly advised to not do so if not have prior permission.
The answer to this question is that it depends on where your balcony is located, what type of building you live in, and the fire code regulations.