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Wood Ovens and Fire Code - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Wood Ovens and Fire Code

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  • Wood Ovens and Fire Code

    I'm wondering if anyone knows any information about the legality of building a commercial wood oven. I know that it is probably dependent on the township, and I plan to do some further research on that front, but in general who dictats the rules, is it building code, fire code? both


  • #2
    Re: Wood Ovens and Fire Code

    The answer to your question is very dependent on your local laws. As you are talking commercial oven, you may also have to involve your local zoning or planning board. I suggest you contact your municipality and ask them, but DON'T submit any plans until you've been given the code requirements by which they will be judged. When I submitted my plans, I also gave my code enforcement office a big loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, so they knew what was at stake. The process of getting my permit went smoothly, even though when I first contacted them, the personnel were fairly negative about my being able to build a WFO in my back yard. Good luck.


    • #3
      Re: Wood Ovens and Fire Code

      I submitted my plan only to have firemarshal tell me pizza oven constitues a recreational fire and has to be 25ft form combustInternational Fire Code 2009 (IFC) defines recreational fires as “[a]n outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.” The construction of a pizza oven as you described fits this definition. Therefore the requirements of IFC 307.4.2 shall apply.
      IFC Section 307.4.2 requires recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure. Therefore I would not approve your proposed pizza oven to be constructed where indicated on the submitted site plan (14 feet from the structure). Somehow he has it in his mind a pizza oven is the equivilent of a bonfire. I've gotta find somebody with a firefighter friend with access to NFPA codes or membership to ask the question - Does a pizza oven constitute a recreation fire? Does the size 42"diameter make the 36" or less requirement non applicable and therfore the definition does not apply
      Last edited by larrycooper; 03-05-2012, 03:21 AM. Reason: poor wording


      • #4
        Re: Wood Ovens and Fire Code

        The question I have when I see stuff like this is, Why? Why would you invite goverment intrusion into your life by filing for a building permit for something that does not require it. It is not technically a permanent structure because it can be moved. Not easily but can be. Therefore requires no permit. Just like if you build a deck and it does not tough the house no permit required in most areas. Never invite the government to stick their nose into your business. You most likely could have built it them never knowing the difference and everything would be just fine. Now you've shot up a flare for them and the will be watching to see if you go ahead without their consent.

        I know I sound like a bit of an anarchist, it's just as I'm in the construction trades I have had to deal with these empty heads for years. If it's a gray area most times you can go ahead and do it and if they don't like it plead ignorance. In this case my motto is better to ask forgiveness than permission.


        • #5
          Re: Wood Ovens and Fire Code

          Well, some of us seem to treat WFOs and WFO baking in a religious fashion.