Is Your Fire Pit Legal?

(various newspapers)
ghostwriting by Marni Andrews

I love a backyard fire pit. It gives you that cottage feel without any of the upkeep or the long drive. Nothing more caveman than real fire. But building one can be a DIY nightmare.

A fire pit is a grownup’s campfire, nice looking and contained so it doesn’t start your house on fire. Check fire code, ordinances and permit requirements for your municipality. Open fires are illegal in many areas. There could be restrictions on type of fuel that can be used as well. Most rural areas will allow outdoor fires.

You definitely want to keep a fire pit far away from any building overhangs, nearby trees, and from the house in general (as well as your neighbours). Check the location of underground pipes and cables before digging. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check that homeowner’s policy to see if a fire pit will require changes to the policy. Better to check before than have a project halted midway by an inspector.


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