Determine Your Fire Pit Location
Check with your county or city code about the location of your fire pit. In this case, my fire pit needed to be at least 20 feet from any structure. Youll also want to plan accordingly with its location based on the edgers youll be using. Plan your fire pit location and keep in mind how many edgers youll need to get a rounded number of edgers needed.
Working With A Landscape Designer On Fire Pit Design Ideas
Talking through these questions with a landscape designer can help you to determine where on your property a fire pit is best situated in order for you to maximize its use and ensure that its a feature which enhances your spacenot detracts from it.
Of course, its important to mention that not all landscape contractors in Lancaster, Reading, York, and Hershey, PA and surrounding areas, are going to take the time to get this detailed when it comes to adding a fire pit to your outdoor living area.
They may simply suggest adding a fire pit where its most convenient and easy for them to build it. But by failing to take into account all of the specific details that are important to its end use such as how many people will sit around it, where the wind will blow, or where everyone will sit, it could end up being a feature that doesnt get much use at all. Even worse, when these details are not taken into account, it could end up being a fire pit that causes you hassle instead of enjoyment.
Thats why its so important to work with a landscape company that champions the design process and, like all aspects of your outdoor living area, will think through every possible detail and help you make the best decisions.
Dont get stuck with a fire pit that you dont love. By working with the right landscape design company, you can ensure that youll end up with a space that you truly love and use to the fullest.
Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Deck Dos And Donts To Avoid Disaster
You have a big, beautiful deck that is perfect for outdoor entertaining. It is easy to envision family and friends gathered in your backyard, grilling out and enjoying each others company. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be enjoying a cozy fire and some smores as the sun sets. If youve been wondering, Can you put a fire pit on a deck?, we want to make sure you know there are some safety considerations that you should keep in mind.
Adding a fire pit to your deck is doable, but there are steps that you should take to ensure the safety of both your property and yourself. This includes things such as using the right type of firepit and setting it up safely. Done right, your deck can be a fantastic entertaining spot for your home.
If you are wanting to install a fire pit on your deck, you have come to the right place! Read on to learn about the ins and outs setting up your fire pit safely.
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Always Keep Safety In Mind
When it comes to fires, safety is always of the utmost importance. Be sure you have a checklist on hand that keeps you aware of the wind direction before you light a fire, reminds you and others not to use flammable fluids to light or relight fires, helps you avoid flammable clothing or any loose-fitting clothing, tells you to avoid using soft woods like pine or cedar, and reminds everyone to ensure children and pets are at least three feet away from the fire. Heres how to prevent home fires.
Fire Pits Wood Decks And Fire Codes
Before you even consider putting a fire pit on your wooden deck, you need to research the fire codes and housing ordinances in your area. In some cities or towns, it is illegal to install a fire pit on a wood deck under any circumstances due to the existing fire codes. Some of these areas are dry or prone to wildfire, so extra precautions are taken to prevent them.
Other housing ordinances may specify that you can have a fire pit on a wood deck, but it must be a gas pit rather than a wood-burning pit. Other fire codes may not prohibit the use of fire pits on decks at all. It all depends on where you live and how strict the fire safety regulations are there.
If youre unsure of whether you can legally build a fire pit on your wood deck, check with your local housing ordinances to make sure before you purchase one. If you live in an HOA-controlled neighborhood, check the restrictions on exterior buildings and accessories on your property, as many HOAs forbid a fire pit even if the city ordinances allow it.
It is also a good idea to check if there are burn bans in your local area. In dry or fire-vulnerable regions, burn bans are periods during the year when controlled fires such as bonfires and pit fires are prohibited due to the threat of wildfire. If you get caught running a fire pit during a burn ban, depending on the regulations in your area, you may be subject to a fine or a scolding from the fire marshal.
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Wood Burning Fire Pits
Wood burning fire pits should not be used under a covered patio. Wood produces thick, toxic smoke and if theres not enough air flow, it can build up quickly and deplete the space of oxygen.
A fire pit with a wide burning area like this one needs to be used in a clear, open space.
Wood fires also produce sparks and embers, which can fly out and ignite any combustible materials close by. Its best to use a wood burning fire pit in an open area with plenty of ventilation, away from combustible materials.
What Can I Put In My Fire Pit To Keep Mosquitoes Away
Mosquitos dislike strong smelling herbs. Herbs that can repel mosquitos includge lavender, mint, lemon balm, sage, and citronella. Burning these herbs in your fire pit can create a natural bug repellent to keep mosquitos away. This works great for a wood burning fire pit.
You shouldnt burn things in your propane or gas fire pit. The ash will clog up the lava rocks or ceramic logs, bricks and heating elements. If you are using a propane fire pit and want to get rid of mosquitos you need a different strategy. Citronella candles and tiki torches are good mosquito repellents you can use on a wood deck.
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Consider The Patio/deck Surface
If youre planning to install a wood fire pit underneath your pergola, ensure the patio or deck surface is made out of a material with excellent heat resistance. For instance, brick pavers and special tiles like Life Floor slate tiles effectively soak up radiant heat from fire pits without any damage.
On the contrary, flooring materials like wood or concrete will readily fade or warp under exposure to heat from a fire pit. You can prevent this by installing a fire protection mat or fire protection stand to act as a heat barrier between the fire pit and the floor surface.
Do Outdoor Porcelain Tiles Get Hot
So, if youre planning on a garden redesign using porcelain paving and are wondering if they will get hot in the sun as we head into the summer months, the answer is no. With a specialised production, porcelain products offer high resistance to hot temperatures that other pavers do not.
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How To Eliminate Risks
One other risk that you will want to eliminate is if the fire pit were to topple over, and all the burning materials inside were to fall out and scatter everywhere.
This could present a fire risk, not only to your property, but others around you, especially if there were a breeze which could blow embers from your garden towards neighboring ones.The main reason why you would want to have a material underneath your fire pit is to protect the grass it is sitting on.
Many a beautifully cared for lawn has ended up with a patch which is discolored or burnt because a fire pit was placed directly on it.
Many fire pits are made from metal which can conduct heat from the fire bowl all the way down to the base, so you need something underneath to prevent this heat from damaging your lawnOne sensible action you can take first is to make sure that the area of grass where you decide to locate your fire pit is level.
This might sound blindingly obvious to you, and we agree it is, but youd be amazed how many accidents are caused due to a fire pit toppling over because it was placed on a slope or incline.The other action you should take prior to locating your fire pit is to clear away any debris such as grass cuttings, twigs and other debris. Apart from making the surface flatter, it also removes combustibles from around the area of the fire pit
The most effective and recommended material upon which a fire pit being used on grass should be placed, is patio slabs.
How Do You Build A Fire Pit With Pavers
The fire pit pavers are placed on the patio and held in place with Rapid Set mortar mix to a complete circle. Move to the second layer and hold the pavers in place with mortar to the first ring. Complete the paver layering with a third ring. Line the inside of the fire pit with high-heat furnace cement. This requires 48 hours to settle before use.
How to Build a Fire Pit Patio with Pavers
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Things You Should Not Do
In addition to safety measures you should follow, there are also things that you should avoid doing at all costs. Any of these could put you or other people at risk.
- Do not place your fire pit too close to your house. There should be a safe distance maintained between the two, which is generally about twenty feet. If your deck is too small for a safe distance, you should choose a different spot for your fire pit.
- Do not leave a fire unattended. Someone should always be able to see your fire pit while it is lit. This also means properly extinguishing the fire when you go in for the night.
- Do not overfill your fire pit. If you put too much wood at a time in your pit, the spark screen may not be as effective, and the pit can get too hot for your barrier to handle. Check the manual that came with your pit since it should give you capacity information.
- Do not use accelerants. Gasoline or lighter fluid can cause a safety hazard to your deck and home, not to mention you. If you are having difficulty starting a fire, use kindling or fire starters like these. You can also make sure that the wood you are using is dry enough since unseasoned wood will have a hard time starting.
- Do not burn anything other than wood. Many people use outdoor fires as a way to burn other materials such as trash or yard waste, but this should not be attempted on your deck. You never know what materials may unexpectedly cause a flash or excess sparks. Save the waste burning for a safer location.
Clear Your Deck Before Starting Fire In The Pit
Sometimes a deck tend to accumulate a lot of debris including dry leaves, pine straws and old newspapers. These are flammable objects that can easily start fire when a spark or ember lands on them. Before starting your fire, ensure that your deck is free from debris and other fire-catching materials.
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How To Safely Use A Fire Pit On Your Wood Or Composite Deck
The weather is warming up which means well soon be spending warm afternoons spent outside with friends and family. Many time those afternoons turn into long evenings, and when the sun goes down, theres nothing quite like the ambiance of a toasty fire to keep the conversation and laughs going. But what to do when you dont have a large enough yard, and the only place to put your fire pit is on your deck?
It may seem dangerous to put a fire pit on a deck made of the very materials youre putting inside the pit to burn! Concerns for both wood and composite decks span from basic fire risk to warping, to cosmetic damage. Wooden decks, and composite decks made with Trex or TimberTech material are a large investment, so having a good understanding of potential risks and what information you need to evaluate them will go a long way in helping you protect your new outdoor space.
With the proper safety precautions however, you can safely use a fire pit on decking, both wood and composite. Take a look below at a few tips and things to consider regarding proper deck fire pit safety:
Specific Balcony Fire Pit Recommendations
There are a number of solid budget and not-so-budget options on the market that meet the specs I mentioned above. You can use them as a guidepost for according to your own budget and space restrictions .
- Smaller Balcony Budget Option: Tacklife Propane Fire Pit Table
- Smaller Balcony Non-Budget Option: Outland Living Series 410
- Larger Balcony Budget Option: U-MAX Propane Fire Pit Table
- Large Balcony Non-Budget Option: Outland Living Series 401
All are well-built and well-regarded, are propane-fueled with internal tank storage, and ironically the budget options are the only ones that come with a burner pan cover included to make a complete table.
The burner pan covers for the two non-budget options can be purchased separately as part of an accessory kit which includes the burner pan cover, a wind guard and a fire pit cover. Kind of annoying but there it is.
Note: All of my balcony fire pit recommendations are designed for use with a 20 lb propane tank. If you are under the constraints of the 1 lb. propane bottle safety limit discussed earlier, you will need the 1lb. propane bottle adapter mentioned to make them work together.
Specific details for each recommendation can be found on Amazon.
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What Kind Of Fire Pit Should I Use On A Balcony
When choosing a safe balcony size fire pit, or a mini balcony fire pit if you are space restricted, the propane option is always going to be the safest and cleanest.
In fact, you may find using a wood-burning fire pit on a balcony in your area is not an option either legally or because theyre prohibited by your HOA, property management, etc.
Im personally a fan of wood-burning fire pits almost every time but not in this situation. Even if permitted, I wouldnt consider them for balcony use, especially in an apartment or condo, due to concerns with the smoke annoying other residents, potential damage and/or discoloration to the balconys overhead cover and floor surface, and space concerns.
Regarding the space issue, from my experience you typically have to sit further back from a wood-burning fire pit due to the more intense heat they generate this leaves less room for everything else.
When choosing a propane fire pit for a balcony, especially if space is at a minimum, I like a table-type propane fire pit, where the fuel source is stored inside the fire pits base, out of the way.
Another nice feature of many table-type propane fire pits is that they can double as a functional table on your balcony when not being used to warm the space. If you dont have a lot of balcony space, fitting a table, chairs, a fire pit, and anything else could be a challenge.
Gas Fire Pits Are The Safe Option
A wood fire pit should not be installed on a deck. With gas fire pits, less heat is generated and there are no floating embers or sparks to potentially land on your deck, which makes gas fire pits the safe option to use for deck installation. However, since many decks are still made of flammable materials and are, therefore, combustible, youll want to take proper precautions any time youre dealing with an open flame.
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Will A Fire Pit Damage My Patio
Yes, a fire fit will damage concrete or any heat sensitive surface like asphalt or wood beneath it. Heat from a fire pit will slowly weaken your concrete over time, causing cracking and spalling. You can prevent this by putting a fireproof mat under your fire pit to stop the heat transfer.
Concrete is one of the most used material for construction of patios due to its availability, affordability and durability. During winter or cold weather, wood burning fire pits are essentially used to produce excellent heat for keeping a patios and backyards warm.
Most propane and wood burning fire pits have a wrought-iron, steel or copper bottom that conduct heat which is capable of burning anything heat-sensitive placed under them.
Although concrete is not flammable, it will burn if exposed to high temperatures of heat. Both portable and permanent fire pits are capable of burning your concrete causing it to expand and crack.
Apart from damaging a concrete, a fire pit will burning down a wooden deck, lawn grass and asphalt surfaces beneath it. Avoid using it on these areas if there is no proper mechanism of protecting heat from reaching the underneath surface.
When building a brick and rock fire pit, ensure there is nothing around capable of catching fire. Sparks, embers and hot ash can also ignite fire when they breach from the pit and land on combustible materials.