Rules Governing Fireplaces in Florida


Why are Ortal’s direct vent gas fireplaces superior? Fewer safety concerns mean fewer regulations and fewer compliance costs. That equals smarter building.

Governing Fireplaces in Florida

The open flame has always captivated the imagination, but it can also pose safety concerns. That’s why governments around the world have enacted strict rules and regulations—to ensure that fireplaces and surrounding structures are constructed and maintained properly.

If you’re installing a new fireplace in Florida, it’s good to familiarize yourself with a few of the safety rules the government puts in place to protect residents from pollution, personal injury, and property damage. It’s also good to compare your options and choose the fireplace that will give you the best performance with the least compliance costs.

Clearance Requirements for Masonry Fireplaces

Masonry fireplaces give off an old-school charm. Even so, they’re slowly being phased out in favor of factory-built fireplaces, and for good reason. For starters, there are the clearance requirements.

Place them too close to combustible materials, and you risk a fire. Place them too close to other materials (e.g., tile or marble), and you risk heat damage over the long term. That’s why the Florida Building Code demands the following clearance requirements for masonry fireplaces:

  • Clearance: Combustible materials must be at least 2 inches from the front and sides and 4 inches from the back.
  • Hearth Extension: A fireplace opening of less than 6 square feet requires 8 inches of clearance to the side and 16 inches to the front. A fireplace opening greater than 6 square feet requires 12 inches to the side and 20 inches to the front.

Skip the Clearance Requirements

When it comes to factory-built units like Ortal’s direct vent fireplaces, Florida allows the manufacturer to set the clearance requirements. Since all Ortal units are installed by an Ortal trained professional, we save you the hassle and headache of dealing with any clearance issues on your own.  Ortal’s fireplaces are designed to give you the flexibility to incorporate Ortal into any project.

How do we do it?

Modern FireplacesOur patented Cool Wall Technology allows the fireplace to give off heat while keeping the temperature of nearby walls down. That means you can install them next to combustible materials without worrying about fires. You can also line them with tile or surround them with marble without risking long-term heat damage.

Relieving the Burden of Compliance

That’s just the beginning. Overall, masonry fireplaces tend to be inferior in terms of safety and efficiency. They’re also subject to far more elaborate regulations that dictate everything from flue construction to hearth construction.

Since they’re built on the site, it’s up to architects and builders to ensure that the units comply with all Florida codes. If you have any questions about specifications or framing all technical information can be easily accessed from the model page on our website.

All of Ortal’s fireplaces, have been tested and approved to ensure that they meet the strictest requirements, including the Florida Building Code. The installer must still ensure that the combustion passageway is up to snuff. In Florida, that means constructing a passageway that’s between 6 square inches and 55 square inches.

There’s a Better Way

At the end of the day, Ortal’s direct vent gas fireplaces lower compliance costs, reduce the need for expensive renovations, and open up a world of design possibilities.

Next time you install a fireplace in your Florida home or business, you won’t be limited to traditional spaces or elaborate masonry structures to accommodate the fireplace.

Build smart. Build safe. Rediscover design with Ortal’s modern fireplaces.

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