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Regulations for Outdoor Backyard Modern Concrete Fire Pits in North America

patio fire

Are modern fire pits legal for your outside space?  What are the regulations?

Fire pits are more popular than ever with all manner of shapes, sizes, fuel source and quality widely available.  Whether urban or country there is definitely a move towards more regulations and restrictions. This is due to insurance, pollution and fire bans surrounding the use of fire pits.  Many of the fire pits that you find at many Big Box locations and those sold online are in fact illegal in several of the communities they are sold in.  For example, many locations sell Chiminea’s where in fact they are illegal. This is because they are classified as open fires and are wood burners.


Outdoor Fire Pit
Terracotta Chiminea

There are many and varied guidelines as to what is deemed permissible by fire departments and local municipalities. North America has seen the trend to outright ban open wood burning stoves and it is on the march right across the continent.  In many states and provinces pollutants and fire hazards top the list of reasons for the wood burn ban.  For gas or LP in the provinces such as BC, AB and Ontario it is a legal requirement for a fire pit to be a certified as an appliance.  It is no longer acceptable to put an “approved certified burner “ into an unapproved receptacle or untested vessel. States such as New York, Illinois, California and Washington to name a few, require a burner to be certified. Alongside the material it is being used with, be that brick, concrete or metal.

One would never consider buying an uncertified stove, hot water tank or boiler.  Why consider a fire pit any differently ?

Massachusetts has taken it one step further and publishes a list of approved fire pits which are acceptable to the state for permits. If the product is not on the list you will not get a permit for it. Gas inspectors and fire departments have raised challenges and questions in all the states mentioned above. Solus fire pits have been successfully granted permits in all these situations.


Patio Firepit
Solus Hemi Fire Bowl


For more information on Solus fire pits and water features and the regulations please contact us.

TF: 1.877.255.3146



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New Product of the Year Award Finalist 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show!

Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat out put for its small size

Finalists for New Product of the Year Award – Chelsea Flower Show

Solus Decor UK is very pleased to have been selected as a finalist in the New Product of the Year Award 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show.



A Fire Pit for Everyone

This is our very first year displaying at the Chelsea flower show. We are pleased to be participating in this prestigious event. We met so many people who visited our display – all with different sized gardens and patios. Our Firecube 16 is versatile for all of these applications. Small enough to fit a cozy apartment or small garden, this fire pit has the advantage of a biofuel (ethanol) burner. For larger gardens and outdoor spaces, the Firecube looks wonderful displayed in tiered clusters of 2 or 3 or placed in a seating area in multiples. The Firecube is also available with a Natural Gas or Propane burner. This makes it very convenient to burn for extended periods of time. Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat output for its small size. Clean-lined and functional, it fits easily into gardens and spaces of any size. It also transitions into a table when paired with its concrete lid.

Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat out put for its small size

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Can a fire pit add value to your home?

Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping
Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping

About 3 million outdoor firepits/fireplaces are installed every year in North America according to the Hearth Patio & Barbeque Association, as part of an overall trend toward more extensive outdoor living spaces”

Reinforcing this growing popularity is the results from a recent Residential Landscape Architecture trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, which found that fire pits are the 3rd most popular outdoor feature after lighting and dining.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

When considering a firepit you can expect to see a range of costs – from a few hundred dollars for a small portable fire pit that will last for a few years, to a few thousand for a luxurious fire pit that makes an architectural statement and will be a permanent feature of your home. There are also several fuel options for your fire pit – such as natural gas, propane or ethanol (bio fuel).

The convenience of natural gas or propane gas fire pits are well known. In many communities wood burners are either not allowed or banned during many parts of the year that you would probably want to be outside by a fire. The mess a wood burner creates can be substantial.

Other considerations include non combustible clearances to overhangs, the amount of heat you may or may not need and how your outdoor seating may interact with the firepit.

Like fireplaces, there are numerous questions about firepits and a Solus Decor Design Consultant would be happy to assist you with your project.

Give us a call at 1+ (877) 255-3146 or visit our firepit gallery at

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What the Brits are saying about Solus Decor

The District Post

Earlier this summer, we launched our fire products into the UK at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in London. Since then, Landscape Architects around the UK have been enamoured with the idea of our fire pits due to the warmth, ambience and  conversations they bring to the world renowned British gardens.

Recently, an article was published in The District Post in the UK about our fire products and we’re very excited for what the Brits are saying about us. Read the entire article here:


Solus Decor – Fire for your Room Outside (The District Post)

Fire pits are a relatively new feature in the UK design and gardening world. They came over from warmer regions such as California, where the trend started, and are a luxury accessory that can easily be incorporated into garden designs in the UK as they are perfect for generating some warmth in our chillier alfresco lifestyle.

Solus Decor is a Canadian company founded 17 years ago by Brad Carpenter. They are unique in that their products are crafted almost entirely by hand and their ethos is very much geared towards sustainability. “The design is obviously a key feature of our fire pits,” says Brad, “but it’s also really important to us that they are sustainable. We strive for a small footprint – we use certified lumber, recycled materials and draw the bulk of our energy from human power. We believe sustainability and longevity go hand-in-hand.”

From humble beginnings, Solus Decor have now shipped their products all over the world to continents including Asia, Australia, Africa, North America and Europe. They launched the British arm of the business at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this year and hope to expand their business all over Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa in early 2016, with plans to include Australasia in 2017.

After the discovery of fire many hundreds of thousands of years ago, it’s believed that fire pits were created by our ancestors to control the flames and the output of heat. They were initially holes dug in the ground, fuelled by wood and were designed for warmth, to ward off predators, to be a signalling beacon and later to cook food on. Fire pits in 2015 are – as you would imagine – far more sophisticated. Solus Decor fire pits can be fuelled by natural gas and bio fuel and are products of real beauty. They don’t need to be fixed into the ground and can be moved.

Before their launch this year, Jack Dunckley met with Brad and was really taken with his products. He is now incorporating them into some of his landscape designs. “The British are world renowned for their garden design, however the one thing we don’t tend to do is incorporate heat into our gardens, which is surprising considering our climate!” says Jack. “I think they are a great conversation starter, providing atmosphere and warmth and can really add a dimension to a garden.

According to the ASLA (American Association of Landscape Architects), fire pits are the number one design feature sought by clients for outdoor living spaces in America – who knows, in the next few years BALI (British Association of Landscape Architects) might be saying the same!

 In the UK, you can order our fire products through Jack Dunckley’s Birchfield Nursery. Tel. 01273 494058
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Specifying commercial fire pits

Outdoor Fire Pit Elevated Halo 36
Elevated Hale fire pit on patio

As a design professional, have you ever had difficulty specifying or recommending a fire pit? Were you ever confused about where to start? We’ve put together a list of questions so you know exactly what to consider on behalf of your client in order to maximize their satisfaction.

Who’s the fire pit for?

  • The primary question is who ultimately will be interacting with the fire pit and how? If you are considering a lounge or a restaurant there are different considerations than an amenity or public space.

Permit considerations

  • Each county, province or state will have its own set of regulations permitting the use of gas appliances. This has become much more of a consideration within the last year across many provinces and states.

Fuel sources

  • There really are only three options: Natural gas, LP (liquefied petroleum) or propane. On occasion there can also be biofuel or ethanol.   If there are issues as to where to run the gas line – a propane tank could be considered. Check if there are any considerations as to the running costs of the gas line though.
Hemi 36 Linen Flame w glass
Hemi 36″ firebowl with glass shield

Some maintenance issues to consider

  • Warranty issues – most commercial products need to last. Many products are just not suitable to withstand the test of time.
  • Electronic issues – how to wire it for electronic start if necessary. Wall switch, timer or lock box.   Manual lit can work – just depends on the staff.
  • Glass shields and barriers might be a good option – and then again perhaps not. This is often a regulatory issue and not necessarily a safety issue. There are just as many issues with glass as there are no glass.
  • Purpose of fire pit – Is it meant to serve as primarily a heating source, an aesthetic statement or to create ambience and atmosphere?
  • Seating height – what seating is around the fire pit – what is the optimum height?
    How will the elements interact with the fire pit and are its components robust enough to withstand wind, heat, rain, sleet and snow?
  • Are fire pits within the budget of the client? How do you measure the quality of the fire pit?

More questions? Don’t be afraid to call Solus Fire and Water 1877 255 3146 or visit



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Certification of Fire Pits in the USA and Canada

Hemi firebowl

                           Certified Solus fire pits are designed from the inside out !

Beauty is only skin deep as the expression goes.  Solus fire pits in our opinion are not only the most beautiful pits in the marketplace but they are as beautiful inside as they are out. We apply exactly the same design discipline for the “inner” Solus workings of parts and final assembly as we do for the appearance of Solus fire pits.

In many jurisdictions and municipalities the state and provincial licensing bodies for gas fitters have implemented new regulations ( particularly for commercial applications but residential as well ) to certify the fire pits as an appliance NOT just the inserted certified burner.  This is a new development. In the last year our fire pits have been “flagged” for inspection in New York, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, Washington, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.  In each circumstance we successfully passed the inspection and permits were granted without additional costs.  In each of these cases our customer was told by the agency granting the final permit that the entire appliance needed a ANSI Z21.97-2014/CSA 2.41-2014 – Outdoor Decorative Appliances certification which included the concrete fire pit it was housed in. Traditionally certified burners were sold separately and were inserted into a brick, metal or concrete pit that was not part of the certification process. These inserted burners although technically “certified” will have a high probability of being denied a final permit because the entire pit is not certified.  It is a trend that is being circulated at a national level in both Canada and the US.   Many states such as Massachusetts require a fire pit to pass their state regulatory body and be on their approved list. Solus is on the MA list. ( )

What did we learn about going through the certification process besides it being intense, expensive and time consuming.  We learned to make a better product. We aligned it with best practices and better quality control.  As a manufacturer we take control for the design of the finished fire table or pit and the design of the inner workings.  By optimizing the control of parts and assembly we are able directly deal with challenges of burners, electronic components and the concrete.  If something goes wrong in the field Solus is on the receiving end of the complaint.  We don’t blame it on the burner manufacturer or the concrete manufacturer – Solus is both. Our CSA/ANSI certification depends on it. Our success rate in the field is just under 98 %.  Which means on an occasion when we have an issue our own technical support team solves the problem directly and adapts changes to the product if necessary.

We have an independent certified gas fitter who tests and fires up each and every electronic fire pit that leaves our facility.  Certification means that we have random inspection by the certifying laboratory of our quality control measures and our assembly methods.   It also means that we are comfortable giving the best warranty in the business.  25 years on our  burner ( with cover ) and 3 years on electronics ( with cover ). The best in the business. You won’t find another manufacturer like Solus.  Beautiful inside and out.

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Summer is here and the party is on the patio – around the fire pit

Tap & Barrel fire pit
Tap & Barrel restaurant (Olympic Village), Vancouver (Canada)

Commercial fire pits have been showing up in all sorts of locations where 2 or 3 years ago they would never have been considered.

It is not uncommon to find Solus fire pits on a communal patio for high rise condos, in senior’s centres, golf courses, ski hills, wineries, restaurants and resorts of all types and classifications.  One of our highest profile fire pit installations will never be seen or photographed as it went into the private winter garden area of a palace! Don’t think we are ever getting shots of that one!

Drake Hotel firebowl
Drake Hotel, Toronto (Canada)

Having successfully placed hundreds of commercial fire pits we’ve come up with solutions one wouldn’t normally have considered. At Solus we have built up a great deal of expertise on what it takes to get them into virtually every location in North America. Although most jurisdictions follow a similar line as to certifications, there have been many “curveballs” thrown as of late.  To the credit of the Solus fire pit team we have handled every one of them.  We are, to our knowledge, the only supplier of fire pits who has actually certified the entire vessel – not just the burner. It has taken hours, days, and months of testing, lab work and reports, but Solus fire pits are now certified in their own right – not just for their burners, but for the VESSELS also. Solus fire pits are certified to CSA and ANSI standard for any jurisdiction in North America.

In California, British Columbia, and Ontario, glass shields in commercial locations are becoming quite common.  Electronic start is a requirement with timers, wall switches and smart-home capability.  As fire pit designers of custom fire pits that can cost multi thousands of dollars, we have to be confident in not just designing and building the vessel but finding and building an appropriate fuel source.

Hemi 36 Linen Flame w glass
Firebowl with glass shield

Sometimes it is better for the customer to tell our Solus story.  Here is a recent shot from the Tap and Barrel restaurant which is nestled on the shores of the Olympic Village in Vancouver, BC complete with some beautiful patrons and the magic of Vancouver and beautiful BC Place in the background.

Tap & Barrel fire pit
Tap & Barrel restaurant (Olympic Village), Vancouver


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Survey says: Fire pits rated top outdoor living feature

It should come as no surprise that more and more consumers are opting for outdoor landscapes that are both relaxing yet entertaining but did you know that more people desire a fire pit than a BBQ? According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, fire pits are more popular than BBQs as an outdoor feature according to their recent 2014 survey for hottest outdoor trends.

Halva Hemi 26"
Halva Hemi 26″ overlooking Stanley Park in Vancouver

As you can see below, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces came in third to Lighting (98.3%) and Seating/Dining areas (97.7%) as the most popular or in-demand outdoor living features. It’s no wonder we are seeing a rise in popularity for fire pits. Not only do they provide a substantial amount of heat allowing people to use their outdoor spaces for longer periods during the year, they also provide the perfect, convivial ambiance for social and family experiences that are welcoming, lively and enjoyable. And if that’s not enough, they can also increase the curb value of one’s home.

2014 Outdoor Living Features Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Lighting – 98.3%
Seating/dining areas – 97.7%
Fire pits/fireplaces – 95.4%
Grills – 94.3%
Installed seating (benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps, boulders) – 89.6%
Outdoor furniture – 84.1%
Counter space – 75.5%
Utility storage – 65.5%
Stereo systems – 60.7%
Wireless/internet connectivity – 56.0%
Sinks – 55.0
Refrigerators – 53.7%
Televisions/projection screens – 49.4%
Outdoor heaters – 48.9%
Showers/baths – 46.8%
Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) – 37.2%
Hammocks – 34.1%
Bedrooms/sleeping spaces – 14.9%

Relaxing fire pit
There’s nothing like relaxing around a fire pit…

So what about you? What would your top pick for an outdoor feature be from the above list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Winter promotion: Hemi 36″ firebowl reduced by $900

Hemi 36" firebowl

Solus Decor is excited to announce that our most popular fire pit is now easier to own than ever before. Our Solus Signature fire pit, the Hemi 36″ fire bowl, has been reduced by $900!

Long before fire pits became standard features in backyards, patios, and rooftops, we ventured into this market with our flagship model, a 36″ round fire pit made from our hand-cast concrete.

We have come a long way from this “Vancouver original” fire bowl and now offer a full range of fire pit styles, models and burners along with high-quality accessories.

As a small business that strives to be on the cutting edge of fire pit development, we invest a lot of time, effort and resources into making a better fire pit experience for our customers.

The Hemi 36″ fire bowl has been such a success that we continue to open more and more markets around the world, especially in Europe and Australia. Because of this increased demand, we’ve increased our production which has allowed us to benefit from economies of scale, enabling us to pass these savings onto you.

The Solus Signature Firepit comes in our 4 best selling colours – cinder, shiitake, linen, and portland and is available with a certified 60,000 BTU burner.

If you are considering purchasing a fire pit, this is the time to do it as this promotion won’t last forever. Feel free to ask your questions with one of our design specialists today at 1 877 255 3146.

Published – January 27th, 2014

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Congratulations to the winners of the Name our fire pit contest

The purpose of this contest was to help us name the two new fire pits designed for our Fall 2013 collection, whose working names were the ‘cube’ and the ‘conical’ based on their shapes. In total, we were overjoyed with 235 entries coming in from across North America.

It was a tough task sorting through all 235 name suggestions which were quite well thought out. Although some clever ones made us giggle, it was important for us to choose a fire pit name that reflected the form and function of our two new designs.

So what did we decide?

  • Laura Rayner of Summerside, PEI (Fire cube)
  • Kelly Stewart of Surrey, BC (Spire)

Thanks to Laura Rayner, we went with the Fire cube for our cube fire pit. It seems so obvious but for our team, it wasn’t until we heard it. It was the perfect choice for our new cube as it marries form with function, which is so important for our product names.

As for our conical fire pit, we went with Spire, thanks to Kelly Stewart. We were looking for something inspirational and when we read Spire, we immediately thought of a church spire which is also conical in shape.

As thanks for helping us find the names for our newest collection, Both Kelly and Laura will be receiving their winning fire pit valued at $3,000 CAD. They will be the first people in North America to enjoy them. We hope to share pictures with our winners enjoying the Spire and Fire cube in their new homes shortly.

Fall 2013 fire pit collection:

Both the Spire and Fire cube will be available in all 12 concrete colours. The Fire cube measures 16″ x 16″ and fits perfectly into smaller spaces, making it the perfect fire pit for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space on their patio.  The Spire measures 23 3/4″ high. With 48,000 btus, they both kick out an enormous amount of heat, sure to keep everyone toasty warm in outdoor living spaces. Both the Spire and Fire cube are available with either a gas or propane burner.

The Spire and Fire cube are both set to be launched in the new year. If you have any questions regarding them, please feel free to contact us.

Fire cube fire pit