Are you aware of the existing backyard fire pit laws? (Source)
You shouldn’t panic as fire pit are legal as long as you follow the set laws in they county where you reside.
One of the main reasons why there are fewer fires at home is because there are restrictions, especially in and around cities.
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While nothing beats enjoying a fire with friends in your backyard, there are a few things you need to consider before making a fire pit.
Factors that Determine Backyard Fire Pit Laws
If you are thinking about adding a fire pit on your property, here are some of the things you should keep in mind.
Just like you have to follow campground rules when starting a fire, you have to do the same at home.
Fire in your home must be managed in the most responsible and environmentally friendly way.
If you live in a rural in a remote area, you are free to create a fire pit on your property whenever you like.
However, be sure to check for local fire bans and adhere to the set rules and regulations.
Rules on backyard vary when you go to urban areas. Some locations allow fire pits if you meet the laid down safety requirements.
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In contrast, other municipalities do not allow fire pits in the backyard.
If you are considering a backyard campfire, start by checking local bylaws and provincial laws on the same.
Some locations will allow you to start a fire as long as there is a 10 meters clearance between the fire pit and any combustible structures or objects.
Other locations will allow grills but specify that no campfires are permitted within the area.
This is why it is important to consult the backyard fire pit laws before making one to ensure that you do not break any rules.
Fire Pit Type
So, you have already confirmed that the backyard fire pit laws are in your favor. What should be your next step?
First, you need to pick a good spot for the fire pit.
If there are limitations on distance from structures and neighboring properties, ensure that the spot you choose meets all the set requirements.
Next, you need to come up with a fire pit design.
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Fire pits have greatly improved over time and do not have to build a stones circle if this is not what you want to see in your backyard.
Below are some of the options available.
Wood Burning Pits
These function pretty much like the traditional ones.
However, you can choose whichever shape, size, and structure work for you.
You have to balance structure function and aesthetics when it comes to building a fire pit.
Whether you want a round, square, or open-pit for your backyard, remember to factor in usability while building it.
Today, you can get fire pits that can be used on the patio without damaging the existing infrastructure.
You can also find options with fine grates that allow you to enjoy the flames but contain sparks.
Check whatever options are available at your local store and choose the one you like.
If you are the handy type, you can look at different design online for inspiration.
Check different fire pit models and go with whichever option works for your home.
Remember that safety comes first so you may have to compromise on size and design and get a pit that you can handle safely.
Natural Gas Pit
This option is perfect if you want to enjoy a flame but without the mess associated with wood pits.
Starting a gas pit fire is easier when compared to a wood one.
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If your home is directly linked to a natural gas line, you should consider this natural gas pit option.
It is also possible to convert your wood pit into a gas one if you want a cleaner alternative.
You will find kits to convert fire pits and rings into propane or natural gas burners in most hearth and patio shops.
An outdoor fireplace comes complete with a chimney to contain the smoke.
This can only mean that the structure will be sizeable, and you need to consider landscaping before putting it up.
If you are looking to enjoy some warmth outside but without the open, completely exposed flames, you should consider investing in an outdoor fireplace.
An outdoor fireplace may also help you circumvent all restriction on open flames within your residence.
However, you still need to ensure that the structure is a good distance from any combustible structures or objects.
Whether yours is a gas or wood fire pit, there are several Unified Fire Authority regulations that you need to follow. First, the fire pit needs to be 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height or less.
Remember these dimensions only cover the fire area.
Your fire pit may see wider if you have a deluxe fire feature or other additions, but you do not need to worry as long as the fuel area remains within the stipulated measurements.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your family’s safety is by monitoring the fire until it is extinguished.
Do not leave the fire unattended whatever the reason and have someone manning the area if there are young children involved.
If you want to get back in the house before the fuel has fully burnt out, use a bucket of water or garden hose to put the fire out.
Whenever you light the fire, you should have some water nearby just in case things get out of control.
How to Enjoy Backyard Fire Pit Laws Responsibly
- Burn dry and seasoned wood which tends to burn cleaner and hotter.
- Check the moisture content of your wood before burning. Ideal reading on your moisture meter should be around 20% or less.
- Keep the stacked wood covered but ensure there is free flow of air to promote drying.
- Avoid burning wood on days when there is an air quality alert. Since pollution is already higher on such days, burning wood will only make things worse for the environment.
- Avoid burning green wood, plastic, construction waste, garbage or yard waste. These will produce more smoke which can at times be toxic.
- Be careful if you live in an area where bush fires are common. Such regions are usually windy, and one small mistake can be very destructive.
Final thoughts on backyard fire pit laws
Now that you are aware of some of the Backyard fire pit laws and regulations make sure you follow them to enjoy your bonfire responsibly.
Laws change from one county to another so you don’t end up assuming all laws are same despite the location in case you relocate.
Take the safety precautions and guidelines since fire is dangerous if not well managed.
Supervise the fire in case you have children around to avoid accidents.
Hello, I’m Tanya, the voice and passion behind Smart Yard Guide. With a lifelong love for nature and a keen eye for design, I embarked on this journey to share my expertise and experiences in landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. As a dedicated homeowner myself, I understand the joys and challenges of curating a space that seamlessly blends nature with human creativity.
My background in horticulture and landscape architecture has given me a solid foundation to explore innovative ideas while respecting the time-tested principles of outdoor design. From selecting the perfect plants for your climate to mastering the art of harmonious hardscaping, I’m here to guide you every step of the way.