Does Seattle, WA Require A Permit For Outdoor Firepits?

August 4, 2023 5:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Does Seattle, WA Require A Permit For Outdoor Firepits?

Outdoor firepits have become a popular addition to many Seattle, WA homes. They provide a cozy and inviting atmosphere for gathering with friends and family during the colder months. However, before installing an outdoor firepit, it is crucial to understand the regulations and permits required by the city. In this blog post, we will explore whether Seattle, WA requires a permit for outdoor firepits.

Understanding Seattle’s Regulations:

Seattle, like many cities, has specific regulations in place to ensure the safety and proper use of outdoor firepits. The regulations are designed to prevent accidents, minimize fire risk, and protect the environment. It is important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with these regulations to avoid potential fines or legal issues.

Residential Fire Safety Requirements:

The Seattle Fire Code, Section 307, outlines the requirements for outdoor fireplaces and firepits in residential settings. According to the code, outdoor firepits are allowed without a permit as long as they meet specific criteria:

1. Size and Type:

The firepit must have a fuel source that is limited to natural gas, propane, or wood only. The size of the firepit must not exceed 36 inches in diameter and 24 inches in height. Additionally, the firepit should be at least 15 feet away from any structure or combustible material.

2. Safety Measures:

The firepit must have a spark arrestor, such as a mesh screen, to prevent embers from escaping and potentially causing a fire. It is also required to have a means of extinguishing the fire, such as a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or a bucket of water, readily available.

3. Usage Restrictions:

Outdoor firepits can only be used for recreational purposes and should not be used for disposal of yard waste or other materials. Burning of yard waste is prohibited within city limits, and fines may be imposed if regulations are violated.

Permit Requirements for Larger Installations:

While a permit is not required for most residential outdoor firepits, there are some exceptions. Homeowners who wish to install a larger firepit or an outdoor fireplace need to obtain a permit from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. The permit ensures that the installation complies with applicable fire safety codes and regulations.

It is recommended to consult with a professional contractor or the Department of Construction and Inspections to determine whether a permit is required based on the specific design and size of the firepit or fireplace.

Safety Considerations:

Even if a permit is not required, it is important to prioritize safety when using outdoor firepits. Here are a few safety considerations to keep in mind:

1. Clearance:

Ensure that the firepit is placed on a non-combustible surface and is clear of any overhead obstacles, such as tree branches or patio awnings. Maintain a safe clearance distance from any structures, including fences or sheds.

2. Supervision:

Never leave the fire unattended, especially if children or pets are present. Assign someone to watch the fire at all times and be prepared to extinguish it if necessary.

3. Extinguishing:

Have a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or a bucket of water nearby in case the fire needs to be quickly extinguished. Make sure to fully extinguish the fire before leaving the area.

4. Local Regulations:

In addition to the Seattle Fire Code, it is important to check with your homeowners’ association, if applicable, for any additional rules or restrictions regarding outdoor firepits or fireplaces.


In Seattle, WA, most residential outdoor firepits do not require a permit as long as they meet specific criteria outlined by the Seattle Fire Code. However, larger installations or outdoor fireplaces may require a permit from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. It is essential to review and follow these regulations to ensure the safety of your outdoor firepit and to avoid any potential fines or legal issues. Always prioritize safety and consult with professionals if you have any doubts or questions regarding the installation and use of outdoor firepits in Seattle.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Locally owned and operated since 2008, Custom Fire Art has built a reputation for providing excellent workmanship, dependability, and professionalism to the residents and businesses of Fall City and its surrounding areas. Our team of skilled and knowledgeable technicians specializes in creating custom fixtures for indoor and outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, patios, and grills. Our goal is to produce elements that are both carefully made and artistically appealing. Visit our site to see more of our work to get an idea of what we can make for you! Custom Fire Art is a licensed and bonded contractor, so give us a call today, and we will be more than happy to get you started on your next project.

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