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You love the idea of enjoying the warmth and ambiance of a fire pit on your deck. But can you do so safely? In this guide, we will go over important considerations, precautions, and tips for using a fire pit on deck. Let’s begin by answering some key questions. We will then go over recommendations to stay safe with fire pits on decks.
Standard Fire PitView Product
Is it Safe to Put a Fire Pit on Your Deck?
Wondering if you can use a fire pit on a wood deck or another type of deck? Whether you can safely use a fire pit on your deck or not depends on whether you are purchasing a safe, high-quality product and using it correctly. More specifically:
- You should only purchase a fire pit that is CSA-approved. To earn a CSA certification, a fire pit must undergo rigorous testing to ensure safe performance.
- You will need to make sure you have enough space on your deck for your fire pit to have sufficient clearance—we will discuss that more in just a bit.
- You also need to keep your fire pit away from all combustibles. Never put a fire pit directly on a wood deck. Only place it on a non-combustible surface.
- So long as you are following all safety guidelines and are using a quality product, yes, you can use it on your deck safely.
Wood vs. Propane Fire Pits for Decks
For most decks, propane fire pits will be the most suitable choice. They are compact, portable, and ideal even for smaller spaces. In fact, you can not only use them on your deck, but also on your patio or in your backyard.
But if you have a large concrete deck, you can also consider a wood-burning fire pit to produce a campfire experience. Just be sure to use it with a spark or flame guard.
Deluxe Fire PitView Product
Fire Pit on Deck Safety Tips
Now that you are familiar with the basics, let’s go over some more detailed safety tips for fire pits for decks.
- Follow safety regulations for your area. Before you choose a fire pit for your deck, research any burn bans and fire codes that apply to your area. If seasonal or year-round burn bans are in effect, be sure to choose a propane fire pit rather than a wood-burning one, and confirm with your local fire authority that it is acceptable for use during the ban. That way you will not be dealing with an open flame within the context of your local municipal regulations. Outland Living offers a range of propane fire pits including our Standard, Deluxe, Premium, Cypress and Mega models.
- Meet all clearance requirements. For any given fire pit, you need to have sufficient space for the required amount of clearance. The exact clearance requirements depend on the product and manufacturer, so you need to consult your manual for the amounts. With Outland Living fire pits, you need 36 inches of clearance on all sides as well as 80 inches of clearance above.
- Do not use a pit that is too heavy for your deck. Before you purchase a fire pit for your deck, make sure you are familiar with the weight capacity of your deck and the weight of the fire pit. A lightweight pit is ideal, but a heavier pit should be fine too so long as it does not overload your deck.
- Choose the right type of fire pit for your deck. As discussed earlier, different types of fire pits may be ideal for different needs. Even if you like the idea of a wood-burning fire pit, if you have a small deck, you should go with a propane fire bowl instead for safety reasons.
- Do not place the fire pit too close to your house. Make sure that you know your appliance’s clearance requirements and meet or exceed them at all times during operation.
- Set the fire pit on non-combustible surfaces only. It is not safe for the bottom of the fire pit to contact wood, grass, or other combustible materials—nor is it safe to have combustible materials above the pit. Examples of safe surfaces for placement include stone pavers, bricks, concrete, etc. Some pads are combustible, so do your research if you want to use a fire pit pad. As for combustible materials overhead, watch out for tree branches, overhangs, awnings, umbrellas, or a pergola. You need enough clearance that neither sparks nor radiant heat can cause anything to ignite.
- Do not add anything flammable to your propane fire pit. That means no lighter fluid, paper, gas, or so forth. Also steer clear of any materials not approved for use inside the fire pit. Materials like river rock and gravel can retain moisture and crack or pop under heat, possibly injuring bystanders. Always use the correct fire media designed for your product.
- Use spark screens as a barrier for wood-burning models. The Outland Living Oakridge features a flame guard to keep sparks and embers from flying out of the pit.
Oakridge Wood Fire PitView Product
- Wait for ash to cool before you remove it from your pit.
- Watch out for dry leaves or other debris that may have gathered around your pit. Sweep away these combustibles before you use the pit.
- Be ready to put out the fire if necessary. If you follow all safety recommendations for the product you have selected, you should not have any issues. But it is always best to err on the side of caution. So, keep a fire extinguisher handy on your deck should the need arise.