Helpful Tips When Adding a Fire Pit to Your Home

Helpful Tips When Adding a Fire Pit to Your HomeAdding a fire pit to your home is a great way to spend time with your friends and family this summer. When planning an addition to your home that involves fire, it’s important to know how to keep everyone safe. Below are two options of fire pits you can choose from as well as a few safety tips that will help keep your summer nights safe, fun, and worry-free.  

Wood or Gas Fire Pits: Which is Better?

When adding a fire pit to your home, you have two options to choose from: wood or gas. There are pros and cons to both types of fire pits, which can help determine which one is a better fit for your home.


Wood fire pits burn wood as a fuel source and are usually constructed from bricks or other stones. Out of the two options for fire pits, they are the more affordable:  They can be built as a do-it-yourself project or installed by a professional, at a low cost. Getting wood for fuel is also relatively cheap, especially if you choose to chop your own wood.

While easier and less expensive to install, when not properly supervised, wood fire pits can pose a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor fire pits are responsible for starting nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires a year, they also caused 3,608 injuries in the year 2012. Many of these fires and injuries are cause by wood fires being built too large, lack of supervision while the fire is burning, or embers and ashes not being completely extinguished when the fire is put out.


Gas fire pits are the more expensive option simply because they require professional installation of gas lines and a gas storage tank — causing the cost and installation time to increase. You also have to consider the cost of filling the natural gas tank. Natural gas can cost anywhere from one to three dollars a gallon depending on your location and the time of year. However, the cost may be worth it to you if you are worried about safety.

Gas fire pits are considered to be a lower fire hazard than wood fire pits. The size of the fire is easier to control as it can be increased or decreased using controls for the gas output. Additionally, when the fire is extinguished there are no leftover embers or sparks that could cause a fire.

Safe Installation

Once you’ve chosen the type of fire pit you want, you’ll want to pick a safe location for your fire pit. Place your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structures in your yard or any neighboring yards. Don’t position the fire pit under any low hanging branches or other structures, such as decks, umbrellas, or canopies, as this can increase the risk of fire. Also, be sure to install the fire pit on top of a non-flammable surface, such as bricks or paving stones.

In Massachusetts, fire pits are regulated under the Massachusetts Open Burn Laws. This means that in most cases your fire pit will require you to get a permit from your local fire department in order to legally burn. Be sure to do this before using your new fire pit to avoid legal trouble.

Insuring Your Safety

Once you’ve chosen a beautiful fire pit to add to your yard, you’ll want to do your best to make sure the fire pit and your property are protected. In many cases fire pits can increase the value of your home. You’ll want to make sure that your homeowners insurance policy limits are high enough to cover this increased property value.

You may also want to review or update your coverage for liability to others (part of your homeowners insurance policy). This can protect you if you are found responsible for a guest’s injuries or damage to a neighbor’s property that is caused by your fire pit. To check on your homeowners policy and liability coverage, or for any other questions, contact the experts at TJ Woods.