Some think fire pits are not safe to use underneath a gazebo or pergola. FALSE! The thing that is not advisable is having a fire pit in an ENCLOSED AREA. This can be very dangerous due to the lack of proper ventilation. With pergolas and gazebos there is obviously no problem with ventilation.
The worry is actually just from the aspect of using fire in general. Below we will list some precautions to take heed of.
1. Always consult with the city or county regulations before investing in a fire pit. Some areas prohibit the use of fire pits.
2. Do not place the pergola or gazebo with the fire pit close to overhanging limbs of trees, branches or leaves. Or too close to your home.
3. Keep a fire extinguisher available!
4. Do not allow children to be unsupervised near the fire pit.
5.Make sure your fire pit is on a level, steady surface.
6. Never leave the fire pit unattended if it is still burning or has hot embers (if using wood).
7. Propane or natural gas is preferred to use with gazebos and pergolas, but you can use a wood burning fire pit as long a you use a fire screen to contain the ash and embers.
More important information to be aware of is, you may find, that over a period of time, the heat that is generated from the fire pit will bake, crack or discolor the gazebo ceiling. This usually occurs due to the following reasons:
*Using a wood burning fire pit causes smoke and will lead to this discoloration and soot accumulation over time.
*If the ceiling is too low, most of the heat will reach the ceiling before it has time to disperse.
*No proper ventilation. This causes heat to become trapped so it rises up with time causing cracks and chars in your ceiling paint.
*Please note that not all ceilings are prone to the above issues.It depends on the type of ceiling you have.
Meeting the following conditions will cause no worry to having a fire pit under a pergola or gazebo:
*The structure has proper ventilation
*You are using a natural gas or propane fire pit as they burn cleaner and are smokeless; unlike wood burning fire pits.
* The ceiling is high enough to allow the heat to disperse.
*You follow the fire pit rules and safety regulations.
Many home owners have used fire pits inside gazebos and pergolas safely for years without issue. Remember to abide by the safety rules!