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How Far Should Chairs Be From a Fire Pit? Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Space Safe
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.
Looking for top-quality fire pits? Explore our selection at Unilock!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep children and pets away: Keep children and pets away from the fire pit to prevent accidents and injuries.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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