Fire pit in screened-in porch?
October 24, 2008 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Can I use a fire pit in a screened-in porch?

I recently bought a fire pit, which is a flat copper/steel bowl on legs with a dome-shaped screen top. I am planning to use it in my screened-in porch, but wondering whether this is safe. Is there any reason I shouldn't do this, and use it in my back yard instead?
posted by Sar HaPanim to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
In what way would this be less safe than a fire in a house? In the living room?

Identify those elements that may be an issue and deal with them, than you are fine*.

(heat and spark isolation is a good place to start).
posted by Brockles at 6:49 PM on October 24, 2008

No. Aside from the fire danger, the porch will be full of smoke.

Yes, use your back yard instead. That's what those things are made for.
posted by beagle at 6:59 PM on October 24, 2008

Your porch has a roof, and that will trap heat and smoke into your porch. Smoke doesn't vent well from the sides, since heat rises - you'll be smoked out in minutes, and you'll have a sooty mess on your ceiling!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:10 PM on October 24, 2008

Backyard. And a few feet away from the house, at that.

Putting one of those on a screened porch is like asking to be on the news as a 3-alarm conflagration.
posted by batmonkey at 7:23 PM on October 24, 2008

Oh yeah, this will only end poorly. You'll definitely smoke out. Consider: even if the smoke vented well from the sides, having smoke venting INTO YOUR EYES is ALWAYS less than optimal. Backyard. Or elaborate chimney built into porch.
posted by disillusioned at 8:31 PM on October 24, 2008

Get a propane burner and bury it in broken tempered glass/volcanic rock,clean fire fun.
posted by hortense at 8:53 PM on October 24, 2008

You could work it out with a vent hood if you really want to use it in the porch. It doesn't need to have a motor or fan, just a passage for the smoke and heat so it doesn't pummel the ceiling.
posted by letahl at 9:06 PM on October 24, 2008

Just cut a hole in the roof of your porch, put a hood on it (so water doesn't come in), and screen over the hole (so the bugs don't come in).
posted by Netzapper at 9:36 PM on October 24, 2008

Not a good idea, especially if the floor of your porch is wood.
posted by Ostara at 9:59 PM on October 24, 2008

In addition to being a bad idea on its own merit, this is probably against your local building codes, which could have very bad consequences in the event of a later insurance claim.
posted by rokusan at 1:49 AM on October 25, 2008

There are indoor fireplaces that could be mounted and vented properly for this purpose.. treat this room as inside space and install something appropriate for that.

or, to answer your question... no
posted by HuronBob at 6:02 AM on October 25, 2008

If you want to have a fire on the porch, get a woodstove & have it properly piped. That would be really pleasant on cool evenings.
posted by theora55 at 8:17 AM on October 27, 2008

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