top of page
  • Writer's pictureKarel Costa-Armas

Fire Pits: How HOA & Condo Boards Can Safely Permit this Popular Trend

By Laura Otto on

How do homeowners associations foster community when having neighbors over for dinner or using the clubhouse cannot be done safely because of COVID-19? As residents look for safe ways to socialize, some are asking board members to allow propane-operated fire pits for outdoor enjoyment during the fall, spring, and summer seasons.

“Fire pits are a hot commodity as they are being advertised by every big box store,” says Alan Goldberg, board president of Tara at Barrington Estates in Aurora, Ohio. “Living in Ohio, having a fire table provides owners an opportunity to use their patios during the cooler spring and fall seasons,” says Goldberg, whose condominium community has 84 units across 21 buildings. Each building has four attached units without balconies, and owners have a private patio next to their front door.

Safety concerns such as height of the flame, size of the table, location on the patio, and proximity to the next home or nearby shrubs and trees have kept many associations from permitting fire pits. Ursula K. Burgess, a shareholder at Rees Broome in Fairfax, Va., a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), and CAI past president, notes that association boards are concerned about damage or injury to persons or property.

“Obviously we do not want homes or condominium buildings to catch on fire or for people to be injured. These events could be catastrophic for an association and its residents,” she adds.

How do boards safely allow residents to use fire pits, especially if it’s currently prohibited because of small patios and homes being close together?

CAI provides an inexhaustible resource library of information for homeowners and those in the community association industry. I recommend looking into joining this organization as an individual member but also as an association.

31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page