Do Clean Your Deck Before Lighting Fire Pit
Its a good idea to clean your deck before lighting your fire pit. Depending on your proximity to nearby trees, pine straw, leaves and other debris may accumulate on your deck.
Assuming they are dry, these things can easily spark an unwanted fire. A stray ember may land on nearby debris, setting it ablaze.
So, using either a push broom or leaf blower, clean your deck before lighting your fire pit.
What To Put Under A Fire Pit On Decking
Based on our discussion so far, the primary solution to the potential for fire pit heat or ember damage to decking is the use of some kind of barrier.
There are a variety of do-it-yourself and store-bought options to choose from and it doesnt have to cost a lot. The return on investment will be worth it no matter what type of decking you have.
Can You Put A Fire Pit On Trex Composite Decking
While enjoying the outdoors on your new Trex Composite Deck, you may think you would like a fire pit on the deck. So the question becomes, can you put a fire pit on your composite deck? Well, the answer is a little muddy. First, you should never put a fire pit directly on your deck with no protection. The heat alone can warp the decking materials as well as embers can burn the deck as well.
Trex decking can soften at about 176 degrees Fahrenheit so you have to very cautious about the size of your fire. In addition, never install the firepit directly on top of the deck. A gas type fire pit is a much better option than a wood-burning one
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Put Out The Fire And Clean The Area Once Done
Once your outdoor party, conversation or relaxation has ended, simply put out the fire before you get into your home. When everything has cooled, you should then clean your fire pit to remove all the ashes, charcoal or wood remains. This gives you a good start up the next time you want to enjoy outdoors and also adds life to your fire pit.
What Are Fire Pits Used For
Fire pits can be used for cooking over an open flame or they can be used indoors in a cold room. A firepit can range from a simple pit dug into the earth to an elaborate metal, stone, and brick structure built over the course of several days.
Different kinds of fire pits are used for cooking. Some are dug into the ground others are designed as freestanding structures that stand alone. Some pit designs even include a chimney to allow smoke and fumes from burning to escape while cooking.
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What To Put Under A Fire Pit On A Deck
While there are different options to put underneath a fire pit on your deck to ensure that the flames and heat do not directly impact the decking materials, the best options are products made for this exact purpose. This will also protect you from embers and sparks if you plan on using a wood-burning fire pit. Here are two of the best options to protect your deck while using a fire pit.
Wood Burning Vs Gas Fire Pits
Gas fire pits are typically safe to put on wooden decks, so long as they have been installed by an NFI certified technician. However, it is important to consult your fire pits manufacturer requirements and your citys codes beforehand.
IT IS NOT SAFE to place a wood burning fire pit on top of your wooden deck, vinyl, or composite deck unless approved by your citys codes and manufacturers requirements. If you have that approval, you must still place the fire pit on top of a noncombustible base.
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What Fire Pits Are Suitable To Use On A Deck
Wood burning fire pits or fire bowls
Wood burning fire pits and fire bowls are the most common type of commercially-available fire pit. They are also the most popular because they provide a natural wood-burning smell and experience. However, wood-burning fire pit might not be the outright safest option for a deck.
The reason is that the ashes can fall through the cracks in the fire pit and catch fire with the materials underneath. The hot embers and ashes can also cause the deck to discolour or even damage the wood.
How Do You Put Out A Gas Fire Pit
Gas fire pits are much easier to put out than wood burning fire pits as you simply turn off the gas supply, just as you would with a gas BBQ. ‘After use, make sure that the gas is shut off and disconnected,’ says Tim Pennell of Bramblecrest .
The only hazard with gas fire pits is if they have decorative stones or glass around them, which need to cool down before you put the cover back over it. ‘Once the lava rocks have cooled, cover with the ceramic insert,’ says Tim. ‘During long periods when you’re not using your gas fire pit, we recommend that you remove the lava rocks from the fire pit to keep them dry, place the ceramic tile over the burner tray and use an appropriate protective cover.’
Always keep the gas bottle disconnected and stored outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
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Radiant Heat And Fire Pits
Radiant heat is a serious threat of fire pits on a wood deck. Even if there is plenty of space between the fire pit and other combustible things on the deck, the radiant heat emitted by fire pitsparticularly wood-burning fire pitscan catch anything on fire even if they arent close by.
Sparks and embers are another concern that fire pits bring to a wood deck . Logs in a wood-burning fire pit may not only emit a lot of radiant heat as they break down, but they can also emit sparks and embers that can fly away from the fire and ignite surrounding items. The bigger the fire pit and the bigger the flames, the more dangerous the scenario becomes.
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In compared to the flames and embers of a fire pit, radiant heat is a mainly unseen risk. Nearby combustible things, such as dry leaves or pine needles, may spontaneously ignite without ever being touched by fire due to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the fire.
When fire pits burn through the bottom of a wood deck, radiant heat is partly to blame. The heat radiating from the bottom of the fire pit may burn the wood of the deck and ultimately combust if the fire pit is hot enough over a lengthy period of time without sufficient insulation between the wood deck and the fire pit.
How To Make Your Own Heat Barrier Or Fire Shield
While we recommend using a product made for this specific purpose, there are ways to create your own barrier or shield between the fire pit and the decking. One way to do this is to place a metal pan beneath the fire pit and raise it off the deck with bricks or pavers. This allows the heat to escape in the middle without direct contact with the deck.
You can also place pavers directly under the fire pit, but you have to avoid scratching the deck, especially with composite decks. You can even build a structure going around the sides and underneath the fire pit out of pavers and bricks that can be aesthetically pleasing and prevent any direct contact between embers, flames, or heat with the deck. This may also prevent excessive wind from blowing the fire, which can be a safety hazard as well as an annoyance.
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Can You Use A Fire Pit On Decking
You might think that using a fire pit on decking is going to end in disaster and youd be right in thinking this if it isnt done properly. You may be worried about the deck becoming damaged from the fire or even catching alight should a rogue piece of fuel fall out.
The good news is that it can be done but you will need to have a fire and heat proof barrier between the fire pit and the deck as well as ensuring proper placement. In short, the fire pit should not be placed near any structure that could become damaged by the heat and flames, such as your house.
You probably spent a lot of money creating a beautiful decked area for you and your family so lets take a look at everything you need to do to get your fire started.
Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Composite Deck
Composite decks are a popular option, but some people sometimes mistakenly believe that since they are not made out of 100 percent real wood, they are not flammable like a wood deck would be. Composite decks are made out of a combination of wood and wood particles along with plastic and recycled materials. They are popular because it lasts longer than wood with less maintenance, but they are still susceptible to fire damage, so you should never put a fire pit directly on the material.
The use of certain materials in composite decking makes it even more vulnerable to damage from excessive heat than a completely wooden deck. While the composite deck can also catch on fire, a lot of the potential hazards and damage comes from the high heat that a fire pit produces.
The heat from a fire pit can cause damage to the composite decking and make it warp. This occurs because of the use of certain plastics like polypropylene and PVC and in extreme cases, the composite deck can even begin to melt. While manufacturers will have their own temperature limits that can be much lower, these plastics can begin to melt at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for PVC and 320 degrees Fahrenheit for polypropylene.
In turn, this damage and warping could compromise the decks structural integrity. The heat and flames can also discolor or tarnish the wood composite material and create burn spots that are impossible to remove. This is why it is so important to use the fire pit properly.
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Pick A Protective Base
If you are planning to install a fire put in your decking, youre going to need to make sure that you are using some kind of protective base.
There are a variety of options on the market, and to help you decide which one might be best for you, were going to be outlining the most popular kinds below:
Regardless of what type of decking you happen to have, if youre installing a fire pit a heat-resistant mat is going to be an essential item and the best part?
Theyre usually pretty inexpensive, long-lasting, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate any decking situation.
These mats are made of a fire-resistant material and will be able to prevent damage to the decking spot you have placed the fire pit upon.
To see some of my recommended heat-resistant mats for under-fire pits, click the link.
Insulated Heat-resistant Tray
Another option you could consider using is an insulated heat-resistant tray, which is designed to elevate fire pits around an inch off the ground/decking.
These are typically the most popular protective base to use, as well as the most reliable.
Metal Fire Pit Barrier
If you dont want to use a heat-resistant mat or tray, you could alternatively opt to use a metal fire pit barrier.
However, there is a risk of the fire pit toppling over if the base is disturbed, which is something to consider.
How To Safely Use A Fire Pit On A Wooden Deck
It bears repeating that when you are using your fire pit on a wooden deck, in the yard, or anywhere it should never be left unattended. Make sure that theres a fire extinguisher within easy reach, as well, and let all your family members and friends know where it is. That way, youll be able to nip a potential blaze in the bud.
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Leave The Lighter Fluid Alone
We all know that one guy who loves to squirt lighter fluid onto an open fire just to watch the flames erupt. Dont be that guy.
Using any kind of accelerant or fuel to help your fire start faster or burn higher is downright foolhardy. Lighter fluid should only ever be used for charcoal briquettes in your grill.
All you need to build a fire is tinder, kindling, logs, and matches. Newspaper can help the tinder and kindling catch, but be certain that any superfluous copies of the Times are kept far away from the fire pit.
Best Types Of Fire Pits On A Wood Deck
Now that we know the proper safety tips when using a fire pit on a wood deck, its time to decide what the best types to use are.
Generally, fire pits that are made out of metal or cast iron and are supported by sturdy legs to keep them off the ground are great options. If you have a wood-burning fire pit like this already, then you are good to go.
If you are in need of a fire pit that is safe on a wood deck, here are some of our top choices:
Still, worried about sparks flying? Gas fire pits are another great option to use and are easy to light.
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Fire Pits On Wood Decking
Challenges related to using a fire pit on a wood deck range from full-on fire damage and the destruction or weakening of the decking and the supporting structure, to cosmetic damage from scorching due to metal on wood contact or from hot fire pit contents spilling onto the deck for one reason or another.
If you are or see yourself becoming a regular fire pit user, and you are building a new deck or plan to replace the deck boards of your existing deck, exterior-use fire-retardant pressure-treated wood is an option that provides additional protection to supplement the other steps well cover in a bit.
Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Wood Or Composite Deck
A deck may seem like the perfect spot for building a fire to gather around, talk, make smores, and relax. However, that will only be the case if you do so safely because otherwise, it can be an extremely hazardous decision. So can you put a fire pit on a wood or composite deck?
While you should never place a fire directly on a wood or composite deck, some fire pits can be safely used on the deck. To do so safely, you need to make sure there is sufficient distance between the fire and structures and use a heat-resistant barrier.
In this article, you will learn the right way to use a fire pit on a wood deck or a composite deck, safety suggestions for location and precautions. In addition, you will discover potential products that you can use and instructions for making your own fire shield.
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Where Is The Best Place To Put A Fire Pit
With the above considerations in mind, you are likely asking yourself where the best place to put your fire pit is. Lets take a look at some important points to think about when it comes to choosing the best spot.
First of all, it is vital that you place the fire pit well out of the way of any high-traffic areas. This is especially important if there will be a lot of guests or family members. It takes only one small bump to knock the pit of its feet, causing irreparable damage and potential injury.
It is also important to make sure that the fire pit is not placed under any overhanging trees. If there are any present, you should make a point of first trimming these back. Additionally, it is important to consider any overhead structures such as an awning or Hard Top Gazebos, the fire pit should always be placed out in the open.
Many people like the idea of sitting around the fire pit to make the most of its warmth and light. This is fine but you should ensure that any seating is placed at least six feet from the fire pit in any direction. You should also make sure that there is enough room for the fire pit to be accessed by whoever is managing the fire. It is also wise to have one allocated fire attendant to avoid multiple people trying to mess with the fire.
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 or confusing how to build 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:
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