Do You Need a Permit for an Outdoor Pizza Oven? Here’s What You Need to Know

By: the PROs

Do You Need a Permit for an Outdoor Pizza Oven? Here’s What You Need to Know

Do you need a permit for an outdoor pizza oven? Or can you get one and start baking your pizza?

Pizza ovens are the key to elevating your pizza baking game. Pizza ovens cook your pizza fast and efficiently, making your ingredients taste better and giving you that crunchy crust you won’t get from a standard kitchen oven.

Besides, pizza ovens are diverse, and you will also get to cook other foods in them.

But, what is the procedure for obtaining a pizza oven? Do you know which entity you should consult before getting one? 

Are all these procedures necessary? 

Let’s find out!

Do You Need a Permit for an Outdoor Pizza Oven?

Depending on your state and the type of outdoor pizza oven you want to build, you will need a permit for an outdoor pizza oven. 

The demand for pizza ovens rose, especially during the pandemic, but many people got fined because they didn’t have permits. 

Towns, communities, states, and cities have different regulations determining ovens or barbecues. In some states, you don’t need a license but check with the state authorities to ensure you are on the right track. 

You should also check with the Homeowners Association (HOA) in your community and the fire department, even if your municipality allows it. 

The fire department will not issue you a permit, but they know which authorities to contact or what procedure you should follow to get a license. 

Besides, the fire department will also take you through the state guidelines and the fire precautions to observe when handling a pizza oven.

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 Possible Hazards of Having an Outdoor Pizza Oven

While shopping for a pizza oven, you must have noticed that they come with different materials like bricks and stainless steel. 

Similarly, pizza ovens are powered in different ways using wood, charcoal, or gas. But what are the hazardous possibilities when using these sources of energy?

Wood Burning

Burning wood creates a warm “Friendsgi” night or holiday, but it can be dangerous. The smoke the wood produces during start-up or close down of the air inlet can cause respiratory damage and air pollution. 

Wood burning in pizza oven
Wood burning in pizza oven

Here are some of the effects of wood burning:

  • Carbon monoxide production: When you stay close to the wood-burning pizza oven for a long time, it can cause shortness of breath.
  • Particle pollution: you and everyone around you can inhale air contaminated with smoke particles.
  • Nitrogen Oxide: If you cook your pizza in the pizza oven with a closed inlet for a long time, you can experience respiratory irritation and shortness of breath.
  • Climate change effects: The wood smoke from the pizza oven releases methane and carbon dioxide into the air, causing climate change effects over time.
  • Volatile organic compounds: Carcinogen gasses like formaldehyde and benzene that the pizza oven produces destroy the ozone layer

You can use dry-aged firewood or safety fire logs to reduce the smoke during start-up. 

Also, you should always ensure that your air inlet is open to ensure enough oxygen circulation when baking pizza.


Have you seen the tiny sparks of hot burning wood that flake off? As little as they seem, they cause massive bushfires. 

Pizza oven embers
Pizza oven embers

Embers are airborne and can be blown by the wind when lighting up the pizza oven. They could land on dry grass or other flammable items on your compound or neighbors.

Gas Leaks

The advantage of purchasing a gas-fueled oven is that it takes less time to start it up and warm it to the right temperature. 

Pizza Oven Possible Gas Leak
Pizza Oven Possible Gas Leak

However, the consequences of a gas leak in the pizza oven can cause an explosion. For this reason, you will have to inspect your pizza oven before lighting it up.

 Possible Violations with the State, County, City, Local Fire Dept, and HOA

The state, county, city, local fire department, and Homeowners Association have guidelines for people with outdoor pizza ovens. 

These guidelines ensure that you and your neighbors are safe from accidents or hazards. That’s why many authorities issue people with outdoor pizza oven licenses. 

The pizza oven license shows that you are aware of and follow the guidelines when operating the outdoor pizza oven. 

Let’s look at some people’s offenses when they don’t get approval or license when building an outdoor fireplace. You will receive a fine or a penalty when:

  1. It will be an offense if the outdoor pizza oven installation is elevated and not on the ground. Accordingly, when installing an outdoor pizza oven, try to get the help of a professional. A professional should anchor the outdoor pizza oven to the ground.
  2. Building an outdoor pizza oven attached to a wall or patio without the authorities’ consent is illegal.
  3. The roof or wall covers the top of your permanent pizza oven. For example, you most likely will need approval from the city and homeowners’ association to get a pizza oven under the shade with a roof and walls in your compound.
  4. The height of the pizza oven is taller than what the authorities require. For example, some states have a limit of 2.5 meters (8ft) high, and the cooking surface should be less than 1 meter (3ft).
  5. You install the pizza oven close to a building or perimeter.
  6. You release your smoke in a hazardous way to people’s property or affect their health.
  7. Your embers cause fires on your property or other people’s property.
  8. You fail to inspect your pizza oven, and the gas leaks, causing an explosion.

You Need to Consult with Each of the Above Entities

All states, counties, local fire departments, and Homeowners associations have different laws and requirements for outdoor pizza ovens. 

So, if you need to install your outdoor pizza oven safely, ensure that you go through all the departments. 

There is no need to get a state permit and trouble with the Homeowners Association. So when do you need to contact each one of them?

State and County Departments

You will need to contact the local authorities to see whether your house is located in a conservation area. 

If they are conducting research, you can get an exemption letter if it is an area where they are conducting research. 

In some situations, people planning to install outdoor pizza ovens will need the local authorities to approve their plan.

 Local Fire Departments

The government has different guidelines for small places of assembly, outdoor air events, and venues with outdoor ovens. 

You will have to visit your local fire department to find out all of these fire regulations. 

Site inspection form
Site inspection form

You will also need to conduct a safety risk assessment to comply with the local fire regulations. Some of the data you will collect during the assessment include:

  • Identifying all the people who could be at risk in the event of a hazard
  • Stating all the potential pitfalls
  • Mention all the procedures on how to evaluate risk and remove or protect it from happening

Homeowners Association

Chimneys have a lot of laws that govern their use. Since you must have a chimney outdoors, you must follow the building regulations. 

Visiting the Homeowners Association will help you identify minor instructions on the height, diameter, and type of chimney they allow. 

For example, many states recommend that wood-burning stoves have Class 1 chimneys.

Class 1 Chimney

These are typically seen in older homes built in the traditional brick chimney style. Most of its purpose was to allow for an open fire, requiring natural circulation to remove the waste gases from the fireplace.

There aren’t many limits on the sort of fireplace that may be used in a home with a Class 1 Chimney, but the chamber must be large enough to accommodate the fireplace. 

A classic chimney may require a liner since it is not sealed, depending on the age of the home.

Another important factor when building the chimney is the ventilation of the chimney that the Homeowners Association requires. The most common ones are the center vent and traditional design ventilation systems.

Possible Issues with Neighbors

Now that you are done with the regulations, we must ensure that you remain on good terms with your neighbors. 

We can start by identifying some of the possible issues with your neighbors when using your outdoor pizza oven. Some of the potential problems include:

  • The smoke emanating from your outdoor pizza oven chimney can affect your neighbor’s health or make it uncomfortable for them to relax in their backyard.
  • The black suit from the smoke could also stain your neighbor’s walls or property.
  • You can sabotage your neighbor’s fence, property, or pouch with the embers emitted from your wood-fueled outdoor pizza oven.

 Safety Tips – Is Always Best to Be Safe Than Sorry

Yes. It will cost you more to replace or repair an item than to regularly maintain it. Well, you should follow these simple safety tips if you are not planning to break your bank:

  1. You can reduce the smoke by installing ventilation and extraction equipment in your chimney. That will clean the smoke and release the clean remains into the air.
  2. You will also need a spark or ember arrestors or traps mounted on top of the chimney to prevent them from flying into your neighbor’s porch or fence.
  3. You should ensure that you set up your outdoor pizza oven 1 meter or 10 feet away from the wall, wood storage piles, shrubs, or trees. However, pizza ovens with a surface of less than 1 square meter can be exempted from this rule.
  4. Always have a fire extinguisher near the pizza oven, and don’t leave it unattended. Outdoor pizza ovens can get extremely hot, up to 1000F. Accordingly, always stay in clear view of your oven, and keep children and pets away from the oven.
  5. You should ensure that professionals install the outdoor wood pizza oven following the manufacturer’s instructions. It would help if you also got a gasfitter to install your gas-fueled pizza oven.
  6. It would be best if you anchored a freestanding or island pizza oven to the ground by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Check with all the authorities to ensure you follow the guidelines. Because the local authority can suggest that the outdoor pizza oven should be 10 feet or 1 meter away, the fire department requires it to be 30 feet or 3 meters away from the building or trees.
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The Last Slice

We have seen that you will need a permit in some states, so you should always check in with every authority. 

We hope you understand the possible hazards, regulations violations, and neighbors’ issues. 

Now that you are also aware of the safety tips, it’s time to start installing your pizza oven, making you the best pizza baker!

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