Are Fire Pits Allowed in Townhouses or Apartments (Balcony?)

Street view of townhouses somewhere in England

Fire pits are beneficial because they decorate a space and create heat simultaneously. Although they’re generally beautiful additions to a yard, they have many dangers. So, you might wonder, are fire pits allowed in townhouses or apartments?

Fire pits are sometimes allowed in townhouses (on a balcony or patio) if there is enough space so that the pit can be a safe distance from buildings. However, they’re not permitted to be used inside townhouses. Fire pits are sometimes allowed on apartment balconies, depending on the regulations.

This article will discuss whether fire pits are allowed in apartments and townhouses in more detail. Keep reading to learn more.

Do All Apartments and Townhouses Allow Fire Pits?

Not all apartments and townhouses allow fire pits. It depends on the complex and homeowners’ association (HOA) rules. No matter what those rules may be, you should never use a fire pit indoors unless it’s made for indoor use. 

You may be able to use a fire pit on a balcony in an apartment, but some letting agencies/HOAs may not allow it.

It’s essential to follow any HOA rules that are in place regarding fire pits/general open fires because you likely signed a contract when you bought/leased the place. According to Investopedia, failing to abide by HOA rules could lead to fines or worse.

So before you install one on your apartment balcony, be sure to check the local regulations

Even if the local regulations or HOA rules state you can have a fire pit on your balcony, you must ensure the area is big enough. You’ll need to have at least a few feet between the fire pit and other buildings/railings, so measure the area first. If the balcony is too small, there is an increased risk of a nearby wall or balcony barrier catching fire.

When it comes to townhouses, you might be allowed to use a firepit out the back if there is enough space to safely use one. But if you don’t have sufficient balcony/patio space, you likely won’t be allowed to use a fire pit.

Are Fire Pits Allowed in Apartments?

Fire pits are not allowed in apartments because of the fumes and increased fire risk. Using a fire pit indoors means less ventilation, so carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. However, fire pits are sometimes allowed on apartment balconies, provided there is enough space.

old and colorful apartment buildings somewhere in New York

Pros and Cons of Using Fire Pits in Apartments/Townhouses

It’s good to consider the pros and cons of using fire pits in apartments and townhouses to see if it’s worth it. Read the sections below to learn more.


They Can Decorate the Space

Fire pits are an excellent way to decorate a space, including a balcony. This is especially true if you have a lot of space on your apartment/townhouse balcony but don’t know what to do with it. 

There are many different designs to choose from, so you’re bound to find something that matches your style. For example, you can use things like:

It’s undoubtedly more exciting than adding something like a basic table and chairs to the space!

Fire Pits Give Warmth

Of course, one of the main reasons people choose to use fire pits is that they provide warmth. So, if you want to be able to sit out on your balcony or patio when the weather is cold, a fire pit makes the experience comfortable and enjoyable.

You can enjoy the warm fire while looking at the views from your balcony/patio or reading a book.

Fire Pits Are a Great Way To Gather a Group of People

It’s good to have a section of your townhouse/apartment where everyone (including guests) can gather around and share stories. A fire pit is a perfect way to encourage people to congregate and create memories outside, even in the depths of winter! 

Some apartments/townhouses can be pretty small, so it’s good for guests to have the opportunity to step out into the fresh air while enjoying a warm fire from the pit.


They Might Be Too Close to Buildings

As you can tell from the pros, fire pits are excellent for many reasons. However, they’re not so excellent if they’re too close to buildings or balcony railings. Most fire pits must be at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from any buildings, so a fire pit may not be a good or safe idea if you have a small apartment or townhouse balcony.

If a fire pit is too close to a wall or railing, it’s more likely to catch fire, which can be highly dangerous (especially if living in an apartment complex with many neighbors).

Smoke and Fire Can Bother Neighbors

You must consider your neighbors if you live in an apartment or townhouse. Since you live in close proximity to others, smoke and fire can be troublesome. This is especially true if your neighbor’s balcony is right next to yours. 

You can opt for a smoke-free (smokeless) fire pit, but even those can emit some smoke when in use. The smoke might bother neighbors, especially if it seeps over to their property.

The Rules May Prohibit It

Another con to using a fire pit in apartments/townhouses is that you could break the rules and regulations. As I already mentioned, some HOAs allow fire pits on balconies or yards, while others don’t. So, you might be hit with a fine if caught using a fire pit when it’s prohibited.

Fire Pits Are Not Safe to Use Around Wood

Unfortunately, I have some bad news if you have a townhouse or apartment balcony/patio made of wood–wood is combustible, meaning it can catch fire easily. So, you shouldn’t use a fire pit near wood. If your apartment walls contain lumber, that’s another hazard. When unsure, speak with a local authority or HOA to get more information.


Fire pits are not allowed indoors in any building, including townhouses and apartments (unless made for indoor use). However, they are sometimes allowed on apartment/townhouse balconies or patios, provided there is enough space and the local rules and regulations permit their use.

Fire pits must be a safe distance from buildings and balcony railings. If they’re too close, a fire is more likely to start, which can be life-threatening. Make sure there are at least 10 feet (3 meters) between the fire pit and any walls/railings for maximum safety.

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