Small fire pit inside gazebo... bad idea??
April 25, 2011 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to put a small fire pit underneath a metal/fabric gazebo?

For instance
This This fire pit
inside This gazebo.

if you take the top most section of the gazebo off to allow heat and smoke to escape?

The two concerns I've heard so far are simply trapping smoke inside which, I would think, would be alleviated by opening up the hole in the top and sparks flying into the canopy which I think shouldn't be a big problem with the canopy (for the one I'm considering) being over 10' up in the center where the fire pit would be.

Is this a really stupid idea?
posted by Thrillhouse to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Sparks from an open wood fire tend to fly up a lot higher than 10 feet, particularly when and if the smoke is vented out the top of something.
posted by The World Famous at 4:41 PM on April 25, 2011

I don't think it is a really stupid idea, but 10 feet is not that tall, and I wouldn't do it myself. They do have fire pit/enclosures that have a top and screens. that might be better.
posted by edgeways at 4:52 PM on April 25, 2011

IF the gazebo was made out of cotton or some other naturally fire resistant (compared to man-made anyway) maybe, if the fire pit was kept totally covered. However even a fire resistant polyester fabric will MELT with a fire under it, especially as the metal frame heats up. I wouldn't do it. What would work is a fire pit outside but near the gazebo, or get a more substantial gazebo like wood or metal roof. I have seen fabric tents go up with way less of an ignition source than a covered fire pit.
posted by bartonlong at 5:01 PM on April 25, 2011

I'm going to suggest that this isn't a good idea as is. I've you could set up something like a a really tall chiminea and arrange a gap around the chimney, you might be OK. Otherwise assuming absolutely no danger of fire (as if) I think you're going to turn the canvas into a nasty creosotey mess the first time out.

What kind of space are you trying to create? Do you want the fire pit for warmth, light, toasting marshmallows or just atmosphere? Is the goal of the gazebo to create shelter from the rain and sun, or to just partition off an area as the hanging out around the fire spot? Are there other issues you need to factor into your plans like building permits or the landlord going crazy?

I think there are ways to build something like what you're talking about, but I'm thinking it's not going to be a completely off the shelf solution.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:36 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks guys. It's clearly not a good idea. Our biggest reason for wanting this is to keep the mosquitos out. The fire doesn't naturally keep them away. I'm not adverse to building something. I just really wanted a less involved option.

Any thoughts on avoiding the bugs while huddled around a camp fire?
posted by Thrillhouse at 5:53 PM on April 25, 2011

I have that fire pit and I would not have it within 10 feet of anything fabric let alone inside something.

Most building codes require the 10 foot, 2 foot, 3 foot rule for minimum chimney height above a house roof. That is the chimney must extend at least 2 feet above any portion of any structure within 10 feet horizontally and it has to be at least 3 feet above the highest point of its roof penetration.

Using an open flame source with less that that clearance near something so flamable is bad.

On preview never mind :)
posted by arse_hat at 5:54 PM on April 25, 2011

Citronella torches can help a lot.
posted by arse_hat at 5:55 PM on April 25, 2011

I've seen an indoor fireplace open on 4 sides (basically a large metal funnel over the fire pit area), so I 2nd that it might be possible with some sort of chimney/chiminea and lots of insulation between the chimney and gazebo, but I don't know how.
posted by sninctown at 6:44 PM on April 25, 2011

YMMV - I use a "super-garlic" called "Mosquito Barrier" The yard smells for 24-48 hours (as does the person applying it until after a shower or three) but it seems to last about 4-5 months in humid FL. (Half as much when it rains heavily/frequently)

I apply on days it will be dry for at least a few days and then shower a few times before bed and again the next morning. I may get it worse because I'm not shy about DRENCHING the area around my kids playset and the playset itself and any of the area around my house. I hate bugs and they seem to hate garlic :)
posted by emjay at 7:22 PM on April 25, 2011

as far as repelling mosquitoes, I had really good luck with the Off Lanterns - you can get them so they sit on tables, or mounted on poles - like these. Three of these around that gazebo would do the trick, no problem.
posted by lemniskate at 8:10 PM on April 25, 2011

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