Decks and Docks Safe to Have a Fire Pit on a Deck

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 homeowners may build or purchase fire pits in their yards, others may prefer to keep their fire pits closer to their homes. If you’re considering putting or making a fire pit on your deck, read on.

Is it Safe to Have a Fire Pit on Your Deck?

Fire and wood 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.

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 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 keep a fire extinguisher near by in case of emergencies.

Measure Everything

If you have a preexisting deck on which you’d like to place or build a fire pit, you’ll want to consider the size of the deck, the size of the fire pit, and the combined weight of a fire pit and pad. To comfortably enjoy your fire pit, you’ll want to sit 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. Your deck is built to withstand a certain amount of weight. Before getting a fire pit, make sure that your current deck can handle the weight of the fire pit and a fire pit pad, which should extend two feet in every direction.

If you plan on building a 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 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.