If you have a propane fire pit, then you might be wondering if it is safe to install one underneath a canopy. This post will cover all your queries and provide safety recommendations for the propane fire pit under a canopy. We’ll also discuss propane fire pit size, the safest covered patio options and propane burn bans!
Are Propane Fire Pits Compatible With Canopies?
People often set up a canopy in their patio or backyard. You may even set up a temporary shelter at a picnic spot. So, you may wonder if it is safe to put your portable propane fire pit under a canopy. In short, the answer is yes. You can set a propane fire pit under awnings or any other covers like gazebos and pergolas.
In fact, propane fire pits are the most compatible fire pits with canopies, considering other fire pits. You must, however, adhere to a few guidelines when using a propane fire pit under a roof. There should be a proper ventilation system, correct distance, and some other safety measures.
To understand the rules, it is first essential to know how propane fire pits work and why it is compatible with canopies compared to wood-burning fire pits.
Propane fire Pit Components
A propane fire pit has three main parts–a propane tank, connector hose, and a burner. Manufacturers design some propane fires to produce the same amount of heat as a wood fire.
A propane fire pit can produce more heat than 50,000 BTU. Usually, the propane tank can supply gas for 4 to 5 hours. Most propane tanks these days come with an auto-ignition system. You have to turn on the switch or the valve to ignite the propane fire pit. After using the fire pit, turn it off the same way.
However, some models of fire pits have to be ignited traditionally. You can use a long fire igniter for safety. If you want to learn more about starting a fire in outdoor fire pits, click here.
This simple way to use a propane fire pit is the reason it is best for placing under a canopy because you can quickly turn it off if you see any problem. Also, propane fire pits are safer than any other fire pit. They produce clean fire with no smoke. So, the canopy will not get too hot or dirty.
Is It Possible To Ignite A Fire Beneath A Canopy?
Many people feel sceptical about starting a fire under a canopy, and there are quite some good reasons to be concerned. However, you can ignite a fire beneath a shelter as long as you follow some safety measures.
First of all, the canopy cannot be enclosed. You should make a fire under a top only when it has a proper ventilation system. The smoke and gas produced by fire get trapped in an enclosed area. Smoke and carbon monoxide can cause health hazards.
Secondly, the burning of wood and coal creates fumes and ashes. The flame and ashes can reach the ceiling of the canopy if it is close to the fire. Some canopy materials may be fireproof, but typical canopy materials are combustible. Thus, you must maintain a safe distance when you create fire under a canopy.
Under A Canopy, Can You Install Any Fire Pit?
What kind of fire pit do you have? Is it a wooden fire pit or a gas fire pit like a propane fire pit? You must be concerned about which type of fire pit is safe to install under a canopy.
Fortunately, any fire pit can be installed under a canopy with safety measures. But you must be extremely cautious while using a wood-burning fire pit. When you burn wood on a wooden fire pit, it creates ashes and sparks of fire that can spread around because of wind.
Hence, it may cause fire accidents. To avoid accidents, you have to cover the wood-burning fire pit with protective screen covers to contain the flame and ashes.
It has some potential risks. On the other hand, fire pits like gel fire pits and propane fire pits are the most suitable fire pits under a canopy because both of them have a smokeless fire. Firepit tables are a popular choice as the fuel system is gas and natural gas. These tables stand high above the ground, so the flooring is also safe.
How Much Clearance Does A Propane Fire Pit Require?
Are you planning to buy a propane fire pit? Before you get a nice fire pit, you must consider where you can place the fire pit and how much distance you should keep between your house and your neighbour’s house.
So, you must check the safety guidelines of your state for setting up a propane fire pit. In the case of most states, you must have a 10 feet distance between a house (or flammable things) and the propane fire pit. The area also should not have any trees and any material that can catch fire easily.
Your propane fire pit may seem safe and secure, but there are many safety measurements you must follow to use a fire pit at home. Apart from a distance, consider how to keep your deck or patio safe. Combustible deck materials like wood should not be directly under a fire pit.
Safest Choices For Fire Pits Under A Covered Patio/Canopy
So, what are the safest choices of fire pits for a cover patio or canopy? After considering the safety measures and materials of the ceiling, or any other cover patio, we can say propane fire pits are the safest choice.
Propane Fire Pits
Propane pits produce clean fire with no smoke. They are portable and versatile. For example, you can use a copper fire bowl for its beauty and durability. Portable propane fire pits are appropriate for a temporary canopy setup.
Propane fire pit tables are also considered safe. It can work as a regular table to place drinks and help to create a distance between the guest and the fire. But you have to consider the height of the fire pit table before setting up a cover patio or canopy. The canopy should be 6 to 10 feet above the burner.
Natural Gas Fire Pits
Besides portable propane fire pits, you may consider natural gas fire pits. Since they run on natural gas, they do not produce smoke. You will get an unlimited gas supply to spend a cosy night under the canopy.
Canopy Rules & Regulations for Portable Fire Pits
Many people set up a canopy over the deck or patio to spend some time gossiping with friends and family in the evening. Keeping a portable gas fire pit around can make the atmosphere more peaceful and comfortable.
However, there are some rules and regulations to use a portable fire pit under a canopy. These measures will safeguard you from any unexpected fire hazard or accidents and related to fire pits.
So, here are some principles you should indeed abide by:
- Read the manual of your fire pit carefully to check the recommended distance between your fire pit and the canopy/ cover patio. The height distance will vary based on the type of fire pit and its heat production capacity.
- The height distance between the canopy ceiling and the fire pit burner should be 6 to 10 feet. People should also maintain at least 3 feet of space.
- Make sure to read your city’s fire safety code and regulations of using any covered patio.
- Do not use a fire pit inside an enclosed area. The only cover should be the canopy over your head at a safe distance. Smoke and toxic gases build up quickly in an enclosed space.
- The place should be clear and open. There should not be any low-hanging trees or material that can catch fire from the fire pit.
- The deck or ground to keep the fire pit under the canopy is essential. Concrete or stone decks are the best surfaces to place a fire pit. Wooden, vinyl, and composite decks should be used cautiously. If you are putting the fire pit on plain ground, make sure it has no grass. Use fire pit barriers.
- The pillars of the canopy structure should be made of metal, but wood materials are unsafe.
- Use a fire screen when you use a wood-burning fire pit. It is crucial to contain the ash and sparks from the embers.
Can You Use A Propane Fire Pit While There Is A Fire Ban In Effect?
When there is a lack of rain, and the environment gets dry. The government often calls for a fire ban to prevent wildfires. So, is using a propane fire pit also banned during these emergencies? Usually, propane fire pits are allowed in a fire ban.
The answer depends on a few things. That is why you have to learn about the city’s codes, rules and safety regulations in case of any fire bans. A small fire left unattended can quickly turn. The location you place the fire pit in an enclosed space is also a matter of concern. You have to keep the recommended distance between flammable materials.
Propane fire pits are allowed in the fire ban because they are safe to operate and turn off. Besides, the propane gas used to ignite propane fire pits also fits the safety standard.
Grill Fire Pit Gazebos
Do you want to enjoy BBQ parties in your yard? Wind and rain can often ruin the fire going. In this case, you should set up Grill Gazebos. They are perfect for sheltering your pit fire.
These gazebos often have metal frames and a canopy on the top. These canopy fabrics are heat and water-resistant.
They are also great to protect you from the UV rays of the sun. Your grill gazebo should be strong enough to handle strong wind so that it stays stable when the fire is burning. Besides, a high-standard gazebo structure must have an LED light system so that you can have a BBQ party at night.
The gazebo structure you will use to put the fire pit must be well built. The flooring material, ventilation system, and the location of a gazebo structure must be suitable for using a fire pit.
If your gazebo structure has a wood or composite deck, it is more prone to fire damage.
These materials are combustible and can melt or burn under a heated fire pit. Vinyl flooring is more durable, but it can also crack under extreme heat. Thus, concrete and stone decks are the best options for placing fire pits.
Does your gazebo structure have wooden pillars? If so, it is better not to use any wood-burning fire pits under the gazebo. Wooden posts have a higher tendency to catch on fire. This can be comprehended by everyone, regardless of background.
But if the pillars are made of stone, metals, or cement, you can use a fire pit as they pose zero chances of catching fire.
If you have a closed or screened gazebo where smoke and gas can get trapped, do not use a fire pit there. Without a ventilation system, a fire pit is dangerous to use. Even propane fire pits become hazardous.
They may not create smoke, but they produce carbon monoxide that is poisonous for us. For a solid reason, carbon monoxide is famous as the silent killer. This toxic gas has no colour or smell and doesn’t even cause any irritation until poisoned. So, ensuring proper ventilation to allow this gas to pass should be your number one priority,
Your gazebo should be 10 feet away from your house or any low-hanging trees. Otherwise, fire pit accidents can cause severe damage to your property. This rule applies to all types of fire pits.
Make sure there are no plants or even furniture near your fire pit. Organize your gazebo well to ensure the fire pit is furthest away from all of these things.
Patio Heaters – Canopy
Are you not sure about using fire pits under your canopy set up? Then, you should use a patio heater. They are safer than any fire pits because they do not use any fire to heat the space. Instead, Patio heaters use electricity.
Is it possible to place a fire table on a screened-in porch?
Yes, as long as the fire table runs on propane or natural gas. Fire tables are safe for screened porch or patio. It can be placed under a canopy or gazebo. You have to keep its good ceiling height and have an air ventilation system.
Some other outdoor gas fireplaces are also suitable to use under a covered patio. For example, the fire columns are stylish as well as safe. They are often enclosed in a glass (except the top). They even burn on propane or natural gas.
Similarly, Indoor/outdoor see-through fireplaces can be under a canopy and gazebo. The fire is safely trapped, and the fireplace uses gas to keep the surrounding area warm. So, you can have a gathering around the fire under the gazebo without fear of serious accidents.
Barbeques- Grills Under The Tarp
Many people wonder if they can have barbecue grills under a tarp or canopy. You can cover your barbeque grills with traps. They provide shelter and help you enjoy BBQ parties all seasons. As usual, the tarp should have a proper ventilation system to pass the wind, and it should be high enough not to catch on fire from the grill fire. The tarp material should be waterproof and able to tolerate some heat.
Is it practical to cook on a propane fire table? It is okay to use your propane fire table for simple cooking, like burning marshmallows and such. But make sure the burner does not get covered in food drippings and oils.
Propane fire may not be as intense as the fire of wood-burning fire pits, but they are enough to heat your food. However, the food will not taste the same as foods burned on wooden fire pits. You will not get the smoky flavour.
You may have seen people lighting a campfire under a canopy or trap. So, what is the charm of the campfire under a Canopy? Well, it shelters the campfire from strong wind and rain. The area covered by the canopy should not be fenced or enclosed. The campfire should have open space to burn.
Creating use of a fire pit under a covered patio is quite common. People, regardless of seasons, like to spend time in the fresh air around a cosy fire. The canopy or gazebo over their head keeps them more comfortable. There is no problem using a propane fire pit under a canopy.
You can even use a wood-burning fire pit under the gazebo, provided it has a fire spark screen, and you follow the rules.
Fire Pits Beneath Canopy: Concerns
Note- A concern you may face regarding using a fuel source in a fire pit under a pergola is the effect the radiant heat generated by your fire pit will have on the ceiling (and walls, if any). You may find that the heat generated by your fire pit will, over time, bake, crack or discolour your ceiling.
Note- Any enclosed indoor area where fires are feared can become very dangerous because of a shortage of correct ventilation.
Here are some more tips on using a fire pit under a covered patio:
- Always have a fire extinguisher close to you.
- Put the fire pits on a plain and hard, steady surface to keep them stable.
- While the fire pit is burning, someone should always keep an eye.
- Do not let your children run around the fire pit unsupervised.
- Wood-burning fire pits should always be covered with screen covers.
- Check the gas connection of your propane and natural gas fire pits for any leaks or damage. Do not use them if they have even minor damage because gas is highly toxic and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Ensure there are no combustible items in the vicinity.
- You should have enough ceiling height and open sides to move around the fire pit so that no one can knock over the fire pit significant with a large group.
Thank you for reading our article about propane fire pits! I hope it was helpful.
If propane fire pits are okay with your backyard canopy, then propane might be the right option for you. You can also ask propane fire pit dealers to visit you and give an inspection following manufacturer requirements.
If you have anything to offer, kindly do so in the comment field below with propane fire pit related queries. You can also guide us on how to improve our blog with your valuable comments and feedback!
Sources of Information
Pilson, G. (2020, September 15). The Complete Guide To Propane Fire Pits For Camping. Able Camper. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://ablecamper.com/propane-fire-pits/
Nickel, R. (2021, September 7). Required Distance Between Your House and Propane Fire Pit. Decks by E3. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://decksbye3.com/required-distance-between-your-house-and-propane-fire-pit
Jones, N. (2021, April 6). Gazebo With Fire Pit Inside? What To Know In 2021. A Nest With A Yard. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://anestwithayard.com/gazebo-with-fire-pit-inside/
A. (2021, July 28). Your Guide to Fire Ban Safe Fire Pits. Outland Living. Retrieved October 31, 2021, from https://outlandliving.com/blogs/news/fire-ban-safe-fire-pit