Whether it's a warm summer night or a cold winter one, everyone loves relaxing by a fire pit with family and friends. But with a fire pit comes safety and comfort concerns. So, how much space should there be between a fire pit and the seating? For your convenience and safety, we brought you the answer.
Seating should be at least 3 feet from the exterior of a wood-burning fire pit and 2 feet away from the exterior of a gas-burning fire pit. However, this is simply a general rule. In a wood-burning fire pit, the kind and quantity of wood being burned and thus the intensity of the heat might require you to move the seating farther back. In addition, embers popping out of the fire pit might require you to adjust the seating.
If you still have some questions about the optimal location for fire pit seating, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in more detail. We'll also talk about the best chairs to use around a fire pit, how many chairs should be around a fire pit, and more. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Seating Around A Fire Pit — How It Should Be Spaced
A general rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet between a gas-burning fire pit and the surrounding seating and 3 feet of space for a wood-burning fire pit. This will generally ensure that those sitting around the fire are comfortable, and it is the best approach from an aesthetic standpoint as well.
But that's simply a starting point; there are other factors you need to know about to make an informed decision for the placement of your fire pit seating.
Gas-Burning Fire Pits
Gas-burning fire pits generally don't get very hot. After all, gas fires are primarily for aesthetics and ambiance rather than actual heat. What's more, the way the fire in a gas-burning fire pit burns is predictable; a gas fire will only burn as high as it is set.
So, 2 feet of space between the fire pit and the seating should suffice. But of course, if you find that you're too hot at 2 feet, move your seating farther back.
Wood-Burning Fire Pits
Wood-burning fires, on the other hand, are much less predictable than gas fires, and they burn much hotter.
So, 3 feet is the recommended minimum distance between a gas-burning fire pit and the surrounding seating. But there's a bit more to take into account when determining the optimal seating placement.
Kind And Quantity Of Wood
Not all wood fires burn the same. Some types of wood burn much hotter than other types.
Do some research on the type of firewood you'll be burning to determine how its BTU output compares to other types of wood. If you'll be burning wood that burns extremely hot, you might consider moving the fire pit seating back by a foot or so.
And naturally, the more wood you burn (regardless of the type), the hotter the fire will be. The heat from a fire pit with a few small pieces of wood won't be nearly as intense as the heat from a massive wood-burning bonfire.
So, if the fire is particularly intense, move the seating back slightly to ensure those sitting around the fire pit are comfortable throughout the evening.
Depending on the type of wood being burned, there might be some embers popping out of the fire pit. For instance, cedar is notorious for spontaneously popping and sending embers flying in any given direction.
If the type of wood you're burning produces a lot of embers, adjust the seating accordingly to keep friends and family safe and comfortable.
What Chairs Should I Put Around A Fire Pit?
There are all kinds of outdoor seating options that are perfectly suited for a fire pit. To help you out, we'll discuss a few of the best options.
Adirondack chairs are a classic choice for outdoor furniture, and they're also well suited for fire pits. Their design and geometry are perfect for relaxing, which is what fire pits are all about. Most Adirondack chairs have weather-resistant properties as well, which makes them a perfect choice for fire pit seating.
Outdoor Rocking Patio Chairs
Outdoor rocking patio chairs are plush and comfortable, which makes them a great choice for fire pit seating. Just be aware of the fact that the cushions could be a potential fire hazard if a stray ember comes in contact with them.
Fire Pit Benches
If you're going for a campfire vibe, consider using fire pit benches. Each bench can seat several people, and the wood can be stained (and sealed for weather resistance) to your liking. If you opt for wooden benches, be sure there is adequate space between the benches and the fire pit for fire hazard reasons.
Folding Wooden Chairs
Folding wooden chairs are another great idea for fire pit seating. They boast the same comfort as Adirondack chairs with the added benefit of portability. When it's time to go back inside, you can simply fold them up and place them in the shed or garage until next time.
Or, if you prefer to keep the fire pit looking like a complete, cohesive area, you can leave these chairs permanently for a cozy aesthetic.
How Many Chairs Should Be 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.
When it's time for family and friends to sit around the fire, simply add seating as necessary to ensure everyone has a spot around the fire.
How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From The House?
If you're considering putting a fire pit in your backyard, the distance between the fire pit and the house is a top consideration.
As a general rule, ensure that the fire pit is at least 10 feet away from any part of the house. 10 feet is generally considered a safe distance between contained fires and surrounding structures.
When measuring for the location of your fire pit, be sure to include any part of the house. For example, if you have a wooden deck that extends from your house, the fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any part of the deck.
In reality, any structure should be treated the same way. For instance, if you have a gazebo in your yard, ensure that your fire pit is at least 10 feet away from it.
How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From The Fence?
The previous rule applies here as well, provided your fence is made of wood or any material other than metal; a fire pit should be at least 10 feet from a wood fence. This will drastically limit the potential for an accidental fire.
If your fence is only made of metal, however, the distance between the fire pit and the fence is irrelevant, as metal fences don't pose a fire risk.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand the things to consider when placing your fire pit seating. Following this general rule of thumb should keep your family and friends comfortable and safe by the fire, but don't be afraid to scoot back should the fire get too hot.
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