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Pizza ovens and small heating or cooking fires

Umu pokepoke, ahi iti hei whakawera, tunu kai rānei

If you are planning an outdoor fire for cooking or heating, it's important that you take steps to reduce the risk of that fire getting out of control.

Types of small heating or cooking fires

It is a good idea that you check the current fire season rules on the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website before you light any small heating or cooking fire, such as:

  • gas or solid fuel barbecue or braai
  • pizza oven
  • brazier
  • outdoor fireplace
  • hāngi, umu, lovo or other earth oven.

Keep heating or cooking fires safe and under control

It is a good idea for you to check the fire safety tips and how to reduce the risks of fire on the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website

  • Inform your neighbours, if possible.
  • Minimise the amount of smoke by, keeping it hot, using clean burning fuel such as untreated, dry wood not burning rubbish or plastic, this is illegal.
  • Have water near to put the fire out if it escapes.
  • Clear any combustible material such as dead grass, dry leaves and sticks.
  • Only burn in light wind or calm weather conditions.
  • Shelter the fire using non-flammable material, such as old roofing iron.
  • Set your fire away from trees, property boundaries, buildings or wooden fences.
  • Keep your fire supervised at all times.
  • Make sure all embers are extinguished before you leave the fire unattended and that they are disposed of safely.

Out tip

You can check the temperature of the ash by holding the back of your hand carefully above the ash. Then use a shovel to turn the ash over and repeating the check with the back of your hand.

Tips for building safe outdoor ovens, pizza ovens and fireplaces

Consider your neighbours when you are planning where to put your chimney.

Build away from any combustible material such as trees, buildings, decks or wooden fences.

  • Allow 4m of clear space above, to the sides and front of the oven.
  • Allow 600mm clear space behind the oven, or build a brick or cement wall at least 300mm from the back of the oven.

Build your flue:

  • at least 1.2m long
  • with a shield on top to stop sparks from escaping.

Check your height to boundary restrictions by calling us and asking for the planning helpdesk:

09 301 0101