How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit? Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe (2024)

If there’s one outdoor feature that makes a homeowner filled with “joie de vivre”, it’s a fire pit.

A fire pit serves as a perfect spot for family and friends to gather around for conversations and laughter year round.

Whether you’ve recently installed a fire pit or you’re planning your new backyard feature, we’re going to cover a detail that’s often overlooked but still plays an important role in your outdoor space — seating, as well as how far chairs should be placed from a fire pit for safety.

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How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit?

The distance that chairs should be placed from a fire pit depends on several key factors, including the type of fire pit and wood you’re burning, the wind conditions, and the size of the fire you are building.

1. Type of Fire Pit

If you have a wood-burning fire pit, chairs or benches should be placed at least 3 feet from the pit. This provides enough distance to prevent chairs from catching fire.

If you have a gas fire pit, chairs should be placed at least 2 feet from the pit. Gas fire pits burn steadily, generate fewer sparks, and maintain a high-quality heat output.

2. Type of Wood

If you’re looking for wood that burns slowly while providing intense heat, opt for oak. If you want to go with wood that produces fewer sparks, opt for ash. Both types of wood require a safe seating distance of 3 feet.

If you’re burning cedar or pine, you’ll want to move your chairs further away from your fire pit, as these types of wood often produce sparks that can fly in different directions.

3. Wind Conditions

On a calm day, it’s safe to sit 2-3 feet from your fire pit. However, if the wind picks up, ensure you move your chairs back. In windy conditions, it’s advisable to maintain a safer distance of at least 7 feet from the fire pit for your comfort and safety.

How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit? Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe (1)

Outdoor Fire Pit Seating Dimensions: Arranging Chairs Around a Fire Pit

The seating arrangement around your fire pit should mimic the shape of the fire pit, so you can interact with your guests while also maintaining the pit as a focal point in your outdoor design.

If you have a circular fire pit, evenly space out chairs or employ circular sofas around the area.

If you have a square fire pit, place a chair on each side of the pit.

For a rectangular fire pit, keep it cozy by placing a sofa or loveseat on each long side and a chair on each shorter side. You can also utilize a sectional sofa on one side to accommodate more guests.

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Types of Chairs for a Fire Pit

When choosing chairs for your fire pit, you’ll want to make sure they are comfortable, sturdy, and suitable for outdoor use. Here are five types of chairs you can use around your fire pit.

  • Adirondack chairs: Adirondacks have tall, slatted backs, wide armrests, and a seat that angles upward. This outdoor-friendly chair is both wide and sturdy, with the option to enhance comfort with the addition of cushions or pillows.
  • Rocking chairs: Rocking chairs are a popular choice for fire pit seating, thanks to their ability to sway back and forth. Keep in mind that you’ll need a sturdy paved surface for rocking chairs, as they might get stuck or sink in mud or grass.
  • Lounge chairs: Lounge chairs have a long seat that allows you to stretch out and recline, and a backrest that can be adjusted for extra comfort. Whether you want to enjoy a good book in your backyard, or simply retreat from a busy day, lounge chairs are a comfortable and relaxing option
  • Folding chairs: Folding chairs offer a practical solution for casual fire pit seating. Their easy storage and portability make them a convenient choice, as they can be easily brought out and stowed away as needed – especially in a muddy or grassy environment.

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Types of Fire Pits

Now that we’ve covered the different types of outdoor seating you can invest in, it’s time to put the spotlight on your fire pit options.

Wood-burning fire pits are the ideal choice for homeowners who are looking for a traditional aesthetic. You can use dry, seasoned wood, and the heat from the fire can be easily controlled by adjusting the amount of wood used, allowing for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Gas fire pits are another option, as they produce less smoke compared to wood-burning fire pits, and can be turned off instantly, providing better control over the flame.

Transform your outdoor space with Unilock. Explore our fire pits!

12 Fire Pit Safety Tips: From Seating to Wood-Burning & More

Fire pits are a great way to add warmth and ambiance to outdoor gatherings, but safety is key when it comes to installing and enjoying them.

  1. Choose a safe location: Your fire pit should be located in a clear, open space with plenty of airflow, away from overhanging branches. Your fire pit should be at least 10 to 25 feet from buildings and structures, including your home, garage, shed, vehicles, and neighboring properties.
  2. Use the right type of wood or fuel: If you have a wood-burning fire pit, use only dry, seasoned wood (oak, ash, or elm) to reduce the risk of sparks and embers. If you have a gas fire pit, make sure to use the correct type of fuel and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Monitor the fire: Always keep an eye on the fire and never leave it unattended. Make sure to fully extinguish flames before leaving the area.
  4. Utilize a fire starter to keep the flame going: If you have a wood-burning fire pit, use small pieces of kindling, such as twigs, leaves, or a natural and non-toxic fire starter such as fatwood, to continue the flame.
  5. Don’t overload the fire pit: Be careful not to overload the fire pit with an excess of wood or fuel, as this can create a larger flame and increase the risk of sparks and embers.
  6. Keep children and pets away: Keep children and pets away from the fire pit to prevent accidents and injuries.
  7. Keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby: In case of an emergency, keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby to put out the flames quickly.
  8. Inspect gas lines and burners: If you have a gas fire pit, regularly assess the gas lines, burners, connections, hoses, and fittings to ensure they are firm, secure, and clean.
  9. Consult professionals: Call in the experts such as a local licensed contractor or National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified professional to inspect your fire pit and gas supply once a year.
  10. Avoid accelerants or burning liquid fuels: Never use accelerants or burning liquid fuels such as gasoline, alcohol, lighter fluid, or other volatile liquids to start a fire. Accelerants burn at a high temperature above 1500° E (945° C) which can damage your fire pit and pose health risks for your lungs and nervous system.
  11. Clean your fire pit: To clean your fire pit, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you can use a stiff brush and a mild soap and water solution to clean the edges and surface of your fire pit. Avoid harsh cleaning agents and chemicals such as bleach, unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer.
  12. Cover your fire pit when it’s not in use: Whether it’s freezing cycles or extreme heat from the sun, the weather can take its toll on your fire pit. Covering your fire pit helps shield it from water, dirt, debris, snow, or ice, preserving the structural integrity of your fire feature. After use, allow your fire pit to cool for two hours before covering it.

Explore Fire Pits & Outdoor Fireplaces at Unilock

If you want to transform your backyard into an ideal evening retreat, a fire pit or outdoor fireplace can give you the ambiance and entertainment space you’re looking for.

At Unilock, we offer a variety of styles and sizes to choose from, from stone fire pits to prebuilt fireplaces ready for quick installation and immediate use. If you’re looking to install your very own fire pit in your outdoor space, consider choosing a Unilock Authorized Contractor, who has the knowledge and expertise to ensure a job is done right. We’re here to help you discover the perfect addition to your project!

Ready to install your dream fire pit? Find a Unilock Authorized Contractor

How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit? Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe (2024)

FAQs

How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit? Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe? ›

If you have a wood-burning fire pit, chairs or benches should be placed at least 3 feet from the pit. This provides enough distance to prevent chairs from catching fire. If you have a gas fire pit, chairs should be placed at least 2 feet from the pit.

How to arrange furniture around a firepit? ›

If you have a bigger space, utilize it by adding two small sofas and a couple of chairs. For a smaller space, add a circle of chairs around the fire pit or two small cozy couches on each end of the fire pit. This fire pit seating idea is great for those who are looking for inexpensive options and easy decoration.

How much space should be between a sofa and a fire pit? ›

Furniture & Layouts

This can be anything from chairs and benches to built-in seating or even a sectional. Make sure there's enough space for people to move around comfortably and that everyone has a clear view of the fire pit. We recommend about 18″ – 24″ between your fire feature and your furniture.

How big of seating area for fire pit? ›

Make room for everyone

In terms of space, you will want to plan for seating that will allow for both group settings or cozy, intimate one-on-one time. A fire pit itself is rarely larger than four or five feet across. The patio space around it should be an additional four to six feet on all sides.

How much clearance do you need for a fire pit? ›

As an example, HPC Fire advises 36 inches of side clearance and 84 inches of overhang clearance for fire pits up to 200,000 BTU. For fire pits larger than this, 48 inches of side clearance and 120 inches of overhang clearance are required.

How far to put chairs from a fire pit? ›

If you have a wood-burning fire pit, chairs or benches should be placed at least 3 feet from the pit. This provides enough distance to prevent chairs from catching fire. If you have a gas fire pit, chairs should be placed at least 2 feet from the pit.

What are the best seats for a fire pit? ›

An angled chair like an Adirondack chair works well because it can withstand outdoor elements and will last for years to come. If you want a more budget-friendly patio chair, camping chairs also sit low to the ground and make a great seating option for your fire pit.

How far should a seat wall be from a fire pit? ›

Choose 5 to 7 feet around the lips of the fire pit to move the chair and seating as per your needs. If you want an in-built fire pit, make a distance of 40 to 48 inches between the wall of seating place and fire pit.

How far should seating be from a fireplace? ›

It's recommended that there are at least three feet between the fireplace and the furniture. Even if you're using a screen or glass doors to protect from popping embers, the heat produced by the fire can damage furniture. Also, the intense heat produced by the fireplace can be enough to ignite a fire.

How much room do you need around a firepit? ›

When you are planning your outdoor living space, you will want to carefully plan your fire pit to make sure there is enough room around it for everyone to be comfortable. A good guideline is to have about 7 feet of space around the fire pit.

What is a good size fire pit for backyard? ›

Small fire pit dimensions should measure 3 feet wide, while a large pit can go up to 6 feet wide. Ideally a fire pit should be between 36 and 44 inches wide (including the width of the walls) in order to comfortably seat multiple people around it whilst still maintaining an intimate setting.

What is the best base for a fire pit seating area? ›

Pea gravel is great to add to a fire pit area because you don't have to be precise, it's comfortable to walk on, and it doesn't cost much per bag. Cover the entire weed block fabric with the pea gravel. Be sure that there is enough to cover the fabric without it showing through.

How far should a fire pit be from a porch? ›

Place your fire pit at a safe distance (10-25 feet) from any flammable structures or surfaces. This includes your house, trees, shed, vehicle, neighbors' property, and wood deck, among other things. Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches.

What is the etiquette for a fire pit? ›

Ideally, a fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structures — 20 feet is even better. This includes your house, shed, fence and neighboring yards. Check the area around and above your fire pit. You don't want any plants within 10 feet of the fire pit area.

What do you put under fire pit? ›

What Do You Put in the Bottom of a DIY Fire Pit? The best materials to put in the bottom of your fire pit are gravel, paver base or fire bricks.

What is a good height for a fire pit? ›

A good rule of thumb is to make an above-ground fire pit 12-14 inches tall. This is a few inches shorter than standard patio furniture seat height. If you want to be able to sit on the edge of the pit itself go a bit higher, 18-20 inches will be comfortable.

What do you put around a fire pit area? ›

Putting gravel on the ground around your fire pit creates a nice, level base for seating. Plus, it protects the ground and surrounding area with a non-flammable material in case any embers make their way out of the fire pit.

How to position a couch around a fireplace? ›

Position the sofas and chairs in a U-shape around the fireplace for a luxurious vibe. Angle all seating toward the fireplace for a more intimate, personal energy. Keep the room open and encourage conversation by placing a sofa perpendicular to the fireplace and a few small chairs opposite the sofa.

How do I make my fire pit cozy? ›

Start by adding comfortable seating to your fire pit area. You can opt for traditional outdoor chairs or get creative with pallets or logs. Make sure to add some cozy throw pillows and blankets to snuggle up in on chilly nights.

How do you arrange wood in a fire pit? ›

First, lay your thickest logs in a row in your firepit. Add another row of thick logs to build the heart of the fire, then a row or two of thinner logs. Add a kindling stack built in the same way, then top with firelighters and light with a match. Trust me, this works brilliantly with high quality firewood.

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