How Far Should Chairs Be From A Fire Pit? (Safety First) (2023)

Have you ever had a few beers while sitting around the fire pit to keep warm while wearing knee pants, and realised your legs were getting way too hot? I definitely have. So how far should your chair be from a fire pit that’s in full burn?

For a wood-burning fire pit, which burns hotter than a gas model, make sure the edge of your chair is at least 30 inches away from the edge of the fire pit. For a gas fire pit, your chair can be a little closer at approximately 24 inches.

To give you some peace of mind about fire pit safety, in this article we’ve looked in detail at how far your seat should be from the fire pit, how much space is needed around one in general – and what type of chairs are a good idea around your fire pit. We also consider the relative merits of sunken fire pits with built in seating.

Click here to check the latest fire pit prices at Amazon.com

How Far Should Chairs Be From A Fire Pit? (Safety First) (1)

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How Far Should Seating Be From a Fire Pit? (Planning it Out)

For a wood-burning fire pit, most experts say you should plan on the edge of your chair being 30 inches away from the edge of the fire pit. For a gas fire pit, you can be closer, around 24 inches.

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Wood-burning fire pits burn hotter than gas ones. With a gas fire pit, you can sit closer in. Not only that, but a gas fire pit burns steadily – no giant flare ups or dying coals. With gas, you don’t need space to move your chair around for the perfect heat, because you are already there. Here’s a reference for gas fire pit safe distances.

You can place gas pits under a roof – if the roof is at least 6 feet above the pit. Gas fire pits can sit on wooden decks or on pergolas safely. Gas fire pit spaces can be more intimate than wood-burning ones.

Wood-burning fire pits are more like campfires. There’s really nothing to compare to a dancing flame, the smell of wood burning and the crackling sound a fire makes.

But with a wood-burning fire pit, you need more room. You may want to move chairs around, depending on the heat of the fire and the direction of the smoke.

A good rule of thumb is to allow 7 feet from the edge of a wood-burning fire pit to the edge of the patio. In that 7 feet, one person can be sitting in a deep seating type cushioned chair. They can have their feet up on the edge of the fire pit (when it’s burning low). Another person can walk comfortably behind their chair in the remaining 2 feet of patio.

The best fire pit seating plans account for just one or for many fire-gazers. Consider a fire pit with several cozy chairs but a bench too. If you have a large party, guests will naturally gather at the fire pit. With a bench or two, you can have space for them all.

There are rounded benches to go with round fire pits. You can build-in benches. Benches are also great for setting down those frozen Margaritas or plates of BBQ.

Another way to accommodate large or small parties is with an outdoor sofa and chairs. Be careful, though, long sofas and outdoor daybeds don’t always go with round fire pits – too cold! If you are going to use your existing lawn furniture, consider the shape of the fire pit that will keep everyone toasty.

If you are in the fire pit and patio planning phase, consider working backwards. First pick the center of the future fire pit in your yard. Mark where you think it will go – round, square or rectangular, mark the outline. Then gather the outdoor furniture you want around it.

Plan for the chairs or sofa to be 30 inches away from a wood-burning pit or 24 inches from a gas one. Walking space should be 24 inches. How big a patio will you need?

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A big difference between gas fire pits and wood-burning ones is fire safety. With a wood fire and a little breeze, you can have blowing embers. Try to design a fire pit patio to allow for blowing embers. Use fireproof patio materials like cement, pavers or stone.

Click here to check the latest fire pit prices at Amazon.com

How Much Room Should You Leave Around a Fire Pit?

A wood-burning fire pit will need more space. Allow 14 to 18 feet from the center of the fire pit to the edge of the patio. For a gas fire pit, allow 7 feet.

For a wood-burning fire pit, you need room to scoot chairs around and to avoid walking too close to the fire. A way to plan for this is to measure from the center of the fire pit. Measured this way, most patio experts recommend a diameter from 14 feet to 18 feet in diameter. Remember, it’s always better to have too much space, not too little.

Most deep seating type chairs are 36 inches deep. For safety, allow for 2 feet for walking around chairs. If you like to put your feet up on the edge of the fire pit, that distance is around 30 inches. If you allow for two feet behind the chair to walk around, the total distance from the edge of the fire pit to the edge of the patio is 7.5 feet.

For a gas-burning fire pit, the math is easier. You shouldn’t sit closer than 2 feet. Most deep seating type chairs measure 36 inches deep. Then, add 2 feet behind the chair for safe walking space. In total, that’s 7 feet. A patio with a gas-burning fire pit is much smaller.

How Many Chairs Can You Have Around a Fire Pit?

For a wood-burning fire pit, you can have between two and six large chairs. For a gas fire pit, two to four chairs are perfect.

What Type of Chairs Are Good Around a Fire Pit?

Whatever chairs are most comfortable for you. A fire pit is for relaxing around, so your chairs should be comfortable for hours – and hours – and hours.

Choose your favorite – Adirondacks, deep seating, outdoor sofas, outdoor daybeds, sectionals, sling chairs, resin wicker, rocking chairs, hanging egg chairs, gliders, or zero gravity chairs. If you like rustic, pull up some tree stumps.

Whatever your seating preference, make them comfortable. Then, consider fire safety.

(Video) How To Build An In-Ground Fire Pit

With fire pits, fire safety should always be a concern. Steel and aluminum chairs without cushions are the most fire resistant. And they may be the most comfortable for you. But many people will prefer cushioned seating.

Soft, cushioned chairs are not going to be fireproof. Some fabrics, like Sunbrella, are flame-resistant. However, you can treat your comfy cushioned chairs with a fire retardant.

To be fire resistant, a fabric must withstand heat. Fire resistant (FR) fabric is difficult to catch on fire, but when it does it burns so slowly, the fire will self-extinguish.

Fire retardant means that the fabric has been treated with a chemical to give them fire resistant qualities.

The bottom line is, unless you prefer metal fire pit chairs, you need to be vigilant about the embers from a wood-burning fire. Never leave a fire pit unattended. Always have a fire blanket, bucket of sand, bucket of water, small spray bottle of water or a fire extinguisher handy. If embers land on a cushioned chair, be ready to douse them. Teach your kids to stop, drop and roll.

How Far Should Chairs Be From A Fire Pit? (Safety First) (2)

Are Built in Benches a Good Idea Around Fire Pits? (Especially Sunken Ones)

Built in benches are a wonderful idea for fire pits. Benches expand seating exponentially and add to your pit aesthetic.

By adding a bench, you can add eye-level design elements that accentuate your pit style. If you are a minimalist, then use the same materials – like cement – for the fire pit, patio, and bench. If your pit style is rustic, consider mixing stone and wood.

For a traditional look, you can add molded aluminum benches. Soften the look of the bench with some pillows and garden flowers.

Bench placement around a fire pit can be tricky. Too close and you’ll be too hot and too far away and what’s the point? The rule of thumb distance from the edge of the fire pit is no closer than three feet but no farther than four feet.

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Sunken fire pits are trendy but a practical, too. By sinking your fire pit, you can avoid breezes blowing your fire around. Sunken fire pits are also good for cool climates – one with high walls will keep heat in.

Check out these fabulous sunken fire pits.

Summary

So to keep safe just remember, for a wood-burning fire pit, make sure the edge of your chair is at least 30 inches away from the edge of the fire pit. For a gas fire pit, you can be closer in at approximately 24 inches.

For a wood-burning fire pit – which get hottest – allow around 14 to 18 feet from the center of the fire pit to the edge of the patio. For a gas fire pit, allow at least 7 feet to be safe.

Click here to check the latest fire pit prices at Amazon.com

How Far Should Chairs Be From A Fire Pit? (Safety First) (3)

Larry James

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Homeowner and property investor Larry James founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >

FAQs

How Far Should Chairs Be From A Fire Pit? (Safety First)? ›

So to keep safe just remember, for a wood-burning fire pit, make sure the edge of your chair is at least 30 inches away from the edge of the fire pit. For a gas fire pit, you can be closer in at approximately 24 inches.

How close should chairs be to fire pit? ›

A good rule is to provide at least 7 feet of space around all outer edges of a fire pit, which will allow for plenty of room for chairs or other furniture and space for people to walk comfortably.

How far should benches be from fire pit? ›

How Far Should A Bench Be From A Fire Pit? A good rule of thumb for fire pit bench seating is to provide at least seven feet of clearance around the fire pit's perimeter.

How do you arrange a chair in a fire pit? ›

Space chairs evenly around the area to encourage conversation. Make sure each side of the fire pit has the same number of chairs, and angle the chairs in toward one another slightly to induce intimacy. Keep large patio tables and oversized chairs out of the area.

How much space do you need above a fire pit? ›

This also reduced issues with wind direction pushing toxic fumes your way. Most places require a clearance above the fire pit of 21 feet, to allow for overhead branches. Be mindful of your property line.

How many chairs can you have around a fire pit? ›

While no fire is going in your fire pit, consider placing 3-4 chairs around it for aesthetic purposes. This will make your fire pit area look like a complete, prominent part of your backyard. Any less than 3 chairs might make the fire pit look haphazard.

Where should you not put a fire pit? ›

Before striking the match, never place a pit closer than 10 feet from anything flammable, including your house and overhead tree branches. Unless the owner's manual says it's okay, don't put the pit on a grassy surface, wood deck, or enclosed porch.

Can a fire pit go under a covered patio? ›

You can absolutely have a natural gas or propane fire pit under a covered patio if the overhead height of the ceiling meets CSA requirements for distance from appliance. This is usually 80 inches. Check your appliance manual for required distances.

Can you put a fire pit on a covered porch? ›

Never use wood-burning fire pits on a covered patio or deck. Wood fires release highly combustible creosote, embers, and sparks which can cause damage to all kinds of flooring and house structures. Wood-burning fires are much more difficult to contain and regulate, making them too hazardous to use on covered patios.

How wide should a fire pit seating area be? ›

The width of the fire pit wall should be a minimum of eight inches for seating, but 12 to 18 inches is better. If you do use the wall as seating, build the pit wide enough that anyone seated on the wall is 24 to 36 inches from the blaze itself.

What do you put around a fire pit? ›

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit? You'll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

Can you put a gazebo over a fire pit? ›

Propane or natural gas is preferred to use with gazebos and pergolas, but you can use a wood burning fire pit as long a you use a fire screen to contain the ash and embers.

Can you put an umbrella over a fire pit? ›

Some fire pit dining table designs include a patio umbrella that towers above the flame, which helps contain heat within the seating area. For safety, the recommended umbrella height is 60 inches minimum. Many manufacturers recommend installing a free-standing umbrella nearby, instead of directly above the flame.

Do I need something under my fire pit? ›

Fire pits can be placed directly on top of grass. However, without proper precaution, there can be major damage to the grass. It is recommended to place a mat or other material underneath to avoid damage.

What do you put under fire pit on deck? ›

To avoid damage and a potential fire disaster, there are specially made fire pit mats to place underneath, which are made to withstand the extremely high temperatures a pit can reach. For a DIY option, simply arrange pavers or bricks in the area where your fire pit will be placed.

Are fire pit tables worth it? ›

These are not only functional by offering heat and creating a cosy atmosphere in your backyard but also highly decorative and stylish, making any outdoor space stand out. DIY Daddy Blog comments that these fire pit tables will extend your outdoor living as you can use them all year round.

Can you have a fire pit under a tree? ›

In the end, you can place a fire pit under or near a tree, but you will need to be vigilant with regard to the size of your fire and its proximity to low-hanging tree branches.

Are propane fire pits safe on decks? ›

Most pre-made propane fire pits and fire tables are safe to use on a composite or wood deck. Unlike wood fires, there are no sparks thrown from a gas fire pit, so the risk of unintentional ignition is much lower.

How wide should a fire pit seating area be? ›

The width of the fire pit wall should be a minimum of eight inches for seating, but 12 to 18 inches is better. If you do use the wall as seating, build the pit wide enough that anyone seated on the wall is 24 to 36 inches from the blaze itself.

How much space do you need for Adirondack chairs? ›

Place Adirondack chairs at least two to three feet apart, and leave three to four feet of space in front of each chair so you can stand up without difficulty. For a standard patio of 10 square feet, this means three or four Adirondack chairs can fit in the space.

What do you put under a fire pit on concrete? ›

To prevent concrete from being damaged under your fire pit, you can use a pit mat, a fire ring, or a heat shield. The good news is concrete won't catch fire, like a wooden deck might. Concrete is 100% non-flammable.

What should I put around my fire pit? ›

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit? You'll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

Will concrete explode in a fire pit? ›

Or, even worse, maybe a novice installer used a material that is not even rated for such high heat. You may not know this, but concrete blocks can actually explode if they get too hot, making your fire pit a serious danger. It's quite possible that building a fire pit may be a lot more complicated than you thought.

Why are Adirondack chairs so uncomfortable? ›

They're hard to sit back in! Something about the angle of the seat forces you to crouch down and scoot your butt backward in a very unnatural way. Once you're there, you have no choice but to lean back.

How do you make an Adirondack chair plan? ›

The BEST Adirondack Chair Plans! - YouTube

Can you leave wooden Adirondack chairs outside? ›

Many Adirondack chairs are designed to hold up in any weather, so you can leave them outside, rain or shine, without giving yours a second thought.

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