A fire pit on a balcony is not as crazy of an idea as it may initially seem. There are many advantages to having a fire pit on a balcony, such as being able to enjoy the warmth and comfort of an open flame when you live in a colder city, or providing guests with marshmallows to roast when you have them over for dinner in your apartment.
On the other hand, there are also many possible disadvantages that come with having this type of furniture on your balcony, such as the possibility of smoke and toxic fumes entering your home through windows and doors. In this guide we’ll explore both sides so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’d be right for your living situation.
Can I have a fire pit on my balcony?
As long as you follow a few simple rules, safely enjoy your balcony fire pit.
- Ensure that the fire pit is not bigger than the limits of your balcony. You don’t want to be breaking any of your building or city codes—you may even want to check with a lawyer before installing anything.
- Make sure that your balcony ceilings, walls, and floors are fire-proof! We don’t want to cause any damage to the rest of your building and have people come knocking on your door. Accidents happen (but having insurance will help).
- Check for any possible exit routes blocked off by the fire pit before it’s installed so you can use them in case there’s an emergency! If there are no doors leading out from the living room, consider adding some—this would increase safety quite a bit!
Is there anything else I need to keep in mind?
Before you buy a fire pit for your balcony, it’s a good idea to check your building’s fire code. Some buildings don’t allow fire pits on balconies at all, so be sure to look into this before you make any purchases or begin setting up.
It’s also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher handy when using your fire pit, in the event that an accident occurs. If you don’t already have one in your apartment, consider buying one and keeping it on your balcony so that it can be easily accessed if needed.
You should also keep proper ventilation in mind when deciding whether or not to install a fireplace on your balcony. Wood-burning fireplaces produce smoke as they burn, which needs somewhere to go. If you have an enclosed porch with no way for the smoke from the fireplace to escape, then you might want to reconsider installing a wood-burning fire pit or opt for another type of fuel source instead, such as propane or gel fuel.
Check your building’s fire code
Before you get to shopping around for fire pits, you need to know how fire codes apply to your apartment. Some cities and localities have building codes that are specific to condos and apartments, which may restrict when, where and what kind of open flame is allowed in those buildings. Others may not have any such code.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to check the building’s fire code before purchasing any equipment or lighting a fire on your balcony. Your condo board or apartment management company should have copies of these restrictions in writing (or easily available online), but if not you can contact your city government directly via their website or phone line. If your living space is governed by more than one authority (i.e., it’s under the jurisdiction of both a city and county), then you’ll want to confirm with both groups that the proposed use of an open flame on your balcony isn’t prohibited under their respective regulations.
Fire prevention codes will vary from place to place so be sure to check carefully before proceeding with plans for a balcony fire pit.
Be prepared to have a fire extinguisher handy
Be Prepared to Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy
It’s always good to be prepared for any situation, and having a fire extinguisher nearby is not only smart but also required by law. If you don’t have one, remember to purchase one. You should also ensure that you know how to use it and that everyone in your space knows where it is located. Not sure how to use a fire extinguisher? Check out this video which demonstrates the “P-A-S-S” acronym:
As you can see, the first step is P or Pull the pin. Then A or Aim at the base of the flames. Next S or Squeeze the lever slowly and finally S or Sweep from side to side until extinguished. To make things as easy as possible, keep your fire extinguisher in an area that is easily accessible so that anyone can reach it if needed and make sure it’s fully charged at all times (which means regular maintenance).
Ensure proper ventilation
When it comes to ventilation, the answer is yes! The key is to use a fire pit with a chimney, which allows for adequate airflow. You should not use fire pits with a chimney in windy conditions, as this could cause smoke to blow into your apartment or into a neighbor’s window. As well, you should not use fire pits with a chimney in areas where air quality alerts are in effect.
Pros and cons of installing a fire pit on your balcony
So, should you have a fire pit on your balcony?
First, let’s talk about the pros and cons.
- Pros: Fire pits in general bring a sense of coziness to any space. They are very popular during the winter months, but if you install one on your balcony, then you can enjoy it all year long. Fire pits are also great for entertaining guests and family members. Imagine sipping cocktails around a fire in the spring or roasting marshmallows in the summer with friends.
- Cons: The main issue with installing a fire pit on your balcony is that they can be dangerous if not properly secured or monitored during use. If you decide to go forward with installation, make sure that there are no cracks in your flooring and that hot embers don’t accidentally fall over the side of the balcony onto passersby below.
All told, the appeal of a fire pit on your balcony will vary from person to person. The good news is that you can get creative in achieving your perfect setup. If you’ve been wanting to have a relaxing evening out on the patio, or if you’re looking for an easy and fun way to spend time with friends and family, consider giving this option a go!
Hope this article has helped!