Can You Put a Fire Pit on a Deck? Below is Everything You Need to Know
Cooler weather means it’s time to set up the fire pit and roast some marshmallows or just warm up a tad by the flames. While some people may build or purchase fire pits in their yards, others prefer to keep their fire pits closer to their homes. For many homeowners this begs the question, “can you put a fire pit on a wood deck?” If you’re considering your fire pit on deck safety, read on.
Is it safe to put a fire pit on a wood deck?
Fire and wood decks don’t tend to mix, however, if you’re dead set on keeping a fire pit on your deck, here’s what you need to know to use a fire pit safely.
Check Your Town’s Code
Before lighting a fire pit near your home, you’ll need to see whether your HOA, township, city, etc., have any regulations regarding fire pits or open flames that you’ll have to adhere to. Some towns do not allow for open flames within 20 feet of one’s domicile. If this is the case, you’ll need to take proper precautions and reconsider your fire pit placement. If the town’s code allows for a fire pit on your deck, you’ll need to consider space restraints and the type of fire pit you’d like to install. Plus, you should plan to have additional protection by keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, in case of emergencies.
If you have a preexisting wood deck on which you’d like to place or build a fire pit, you’ll want to consider the size of the deck’s surface, the size of the fire pit, and the combined weight of the fire pit and fire pit pad. To comfortably enjoy your fire pit, you’ll want to set a certain distance from the pit so that you aren’t constantly inhaling smoke or getting hit by sparks. Similarly, you wouldn’t want sparks hitting your deck railing or any sort of combustible surface. Your deck is also built to withstand a certain amount of weight. Before purchasing a fire pit, make sure that your current deck can handle the weight of the fire pit and a fire pit mat, which should extend two feet in every direction.
If you plan on building a composite deck, you’ll want to ensure you leave enough space for your fire pit, seating around your fire pit, and a safe walkway. You’ll want to consider any views as well as winds that tend to blow in a particular direction. Chances are, you’ll need to make your deck bigger than you would’ve thought once you consider all these factors.
Choosing the Right Type of Fire Pit
Wood-burning fire pits are fairly common and inexpensive, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for your deck. Wood burning fire pits may be more prone to sparking, though a fire pit pad makes it safer to house one on a wooden deck.
To skip the safety concern, consider a propane fire pit. With many options available, and even info on how to build one, homeowners don’t have to sacrifice style for safety. Gel fuel and natural gas fire pits also provide safer alternatives to wood-burning fire pits. If you know the weight limit of your deck, that information can help you narrow down which fire pit and fire pit pad may be most appropriate for your area.
To answer the question posed by this post, yes, it is safe to have a fire pit on your deck—as long as you verify that it is appropriate within your city code and you take all the necessary precautions to ensure your family’s (and your deck’s) safety.
Deck questions are best handled by deck experts. If you are unsure of what you need to make your deck exceptional or are in the market for supplies, contact the deck experts, Decks & Docks. With building materials and hardware, we have everything you need to make a stand-out deck. Learn more on our website or stop on by.
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Michelle has been with us for about 5 years now, sales at the Corporate Office. You can have them say something along the lines of how Michelle is positive and upbeat and makes sure to see our customers through on their jobs from start to finish. She is detail-oriented and acts almost like a Project Manager on the jobs to make sure everything goes smoothly.