If you own or have considered purchasing a covered patio, you’ve probably contemplated what type of grills, fire pits, and/or other features can be used underneath. Or maybe it hasn’t been a consideration of yours at all! Wherever you find yourself, we think that it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of fire features for your patio. We’ll go over common fire features and try to tag them as safe or unsafe to be used under a patio cover.
Unsafe Fire Features For Under Your Patio Cover
Unfortunately, many fire features are not suitable to go underneath a patio cover. They could be hazardous because of improper ventilation, create potential damage to your home or patio, or create other fire hazards.
There are three main fire features that you should avoid using under your covered patio (in most cases):
- Wood-burning fire pits
- Outdoor stoves
- Gas and charcoal grills
Wood-Burning Fire Pits
Wood-burning fire pits should be avoided due to the thick smoke and embers that could be a fire hazard within a covered space. Smoke can also add permanent damage to your patio cover and/or side of your home if it does not have enough space and ventilation. We’d recommend having a wood-burning fire pit in an uncovered area and on a level surface. Find more details on setting up a wood-burning fire pit on backyardtoasty.com!
It’s best to avoid using an outdoor stove under a covered patio because it’s a large open flame that gives off a lot of heat. Solo stoves can get up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! Like wood-burning fire pits, you could risk permanent damage and improper ventilation.
Gas & Charcoal Grills
With gas and charcoal grills, you risk staining your ceiling and/or walls with smoke, especially from a charcoal grill! You’ll want to grill with gas or charcoal in a non-enclosed area that gets airflow and has proper ventilation. There could be exceptions to this depending on your ceiling height and airflow, but we’d advise against it in most cases! Having a grill on the outskirt of your covered patio could be a better idea.
Safe Fire Features For Under Your Patio Cover
There are four main fire features you could consider using under your patio cover:
- Propane and natural gas fire pits
- Fire tables
- Wood-burning pizza ovens
- Pellet grills
Always check your appliance manual to ensure that your patio cover height meets the minimum requirements. Also, make sure that you ALWAYS have a fire extinguisher nearby in the event of an emergency. While we’ve put together a list, check with your local town or city to see what fire features require a permit, such as the City of Boise’s Fire Permits and Service Fees page.
Propane & Natural Gas Fire Pits
Many propane and natural gas fire pits can be used under a covered patio. This will depend on the height of the patio covered. We recommend finding a fire pit that is CSA certified. Home Depot allows you to filter fire pits by CSA certification and usually has use/care manuals listed on the item’s page. In these manuals, you may be able to find the recommended height that is required to use underneath a covered patio.
Like the propane natural gas fire pits, almost all fire tables can be used under a covered patio because they give off very little heat. These can also be sorted by CSA certification on Home Depot’s website.
Wood-Burning Pizza Oven
Wood-burning pizza ovens can be used underneath a covered patio in most cases IF there is an installed chimney. Most brands will have different chimney requirements. We love Forno Bravo’s pizza ovens that range from Italian-style tile to Mediterranean stucco. Kits can be purchased through their online store, and you can get their recommendations for ventilation.
Because pellet grills and smokers don’t have an open flame, they can be much safer to use underneath a patio cover. Trager has an excellent grilling guide, and the HPBA addresses pellet grill safety to help guide you with your purchase choice! We still recommend ensuring that your covered patio is highly ventilated with proper airflow.
If you’re considering adding a fire feature to your patio, be sure to avoid using wood-burning fire pits, outdoor stoves, gas grills, and charcoal grills. While these features may be tempting, they could damage your patio cover and create hazardous conditions. Instead, consider propane or natural gas fire pits, fire tables, wood-burning pizza ovens, or pellet grills.
Our team can help you choose the perfect patio cover option for your home and install it safely and professionally.
Contact us today to get started!