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Can I have an outdoor fire pit or chiminea in my French garden?

It is forbidden to burn rubbish on an open fire in a garden but here we look at the rules for these outdoor devices which are mainly used for cooking or heating

Chimineas are popular garden accessories Pic: Graeme J Baty / Shutterstock

Reader question: I know you can't burn garden rubbish in France but are you allowed to have a chiminea or a fire pit for outdoor heating and cooking? 

It is permitted to have a chiminea (cheminée d'extérieur) or fire pit (brasero) in your garden for cooking, heating or simply for decoration. 

These products are typically sold in most garden or DIY shops in France, such as Leroy Merlin

These are allowed – while open fires are not – because they are considered controlled. 

Last month, we covered why it is not permitted to burn rubbish in an open fire in your garden in France. 

You can read more about that here: What is the law on burning waste in my French garden?.

Balconies in apartments

Putting one of these outdoor heaters on your balcony if you live in an apartment is generally not allowed, though, unless a municipal decree states otherwise. Individual apartment blocks may also have specific rules. 

It is similar to the guidelines around having a BBQ on a balcony.

Read more: Are there rules on the use of barbecues on balconies in France?

Terraces and outdoor heaters

A new law came into effect on March 31 this year banning the use of outdoor patio heaters for public establishments, such as outside cafes, bars or restaurants. 

The measure is aimed at cutting down on pollution. 

The law states that all systems used to heat or cool air on public terraces are prohibited, regardless of the type of energy used.

This ban applies strictly to public establishments and the use of heaters on private property is still allowed. 

Read more: France’s new patio heater ban: Can I still use one in my garden?

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Wildfires: French law may require you to cut back at-risk vegetation

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