The cold breeze ran around, and you curled up in a blanket near a campfire, a complete mood, right? Well, who wouldn’t like this idea? And having a fire pit right on your decking is a plan no one can resist.
Just you and your loved ones, may it be your family or your friends around the fire pit having a great time. The night might turn out to be a fun one with you dancing around crazy or a chill one where you find yourself having those deep conversations about your life.
Or just want to have some me-time? Just light up a fire and there you go. This is all winter is about, right? Have a perfect winter evening. With people or solo, a bonfire is perfect for any evening.
Going camping to get that campfire feels isn’t always possible. So why not create such an atmosphere right around your own house? But you might be worried that this idea might turn out to be risky for your house. Well, you are right.
There are some safety measures that should be undertaken while lighting a fire pit on decking. And when you know them along with the proper technique of doing it, you can absolutely have your dream evening.
Here in this article, we will guide you on using a fire pit on decking along with other aspects as well. From do’s to don’ts, we’ll let you know everything in a stepwise manner. So let’s get started.
The first and foremost thing to consider is the material of the decking and the type of decking you have built. You can easily use a fire pit on the materials given below. If you are thinking of rebuilding your deck since you want to use a fire pit over it, the following information might help.
Types of Decks on Which You Can use as Fire Pit.
1. Wooden Decking
You might be familiar with this type. It simply is a platform made up of wood. Wooden decking gives a natural yet elegant look. It is the most common one of all and many people go for wooden decking due to its appearance as well as its affordability. This natural beauty comes in a variety of textures and shades. Let’s have a look.
- Cedar – It is softwood that gives an impressive natural finishing and texture. It is resistant to insects and rot, making it a perfect material for the outer decking area. It may last up to 20 to 25 years and requires maintenance once a year. It is quite affordable too.
- IPE – It is the most beautiful variety among all the other variants. But its beauty comes with a cost. Being the most beautiful, it is the most expensive one too. It is extremely durable, dense, and almost twice as stronger as other wooden materials. Plus, it is remarkably resistant to molds, mildews, and decay. And the maintenance is quite low as it is scratch-resistant. What else could you possibly ask for?
- Pressure-treated – It is much of a pocket-friendly material. The durability it provides is quite impressive and lasts much longer. With proper safekeeping and by giving annual retouch to the decking, the material is sure to stay with you almost forever.
- Teak– Teak is an exclusive option when it comes to using it for the decking area. It gives a rich and natural look to the decking. It is resistant to insects as well. And it may last above 40 years. Quite impressive for wood, isn’t it?
Other varieties of wood include Mahogany and Redwood.
2. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
There are various other varieties available if you do not wish to go for wood as it may decay over a certain amount of time. Well, who hasn’t heard about PVC? It is used in most of the products that we use in our house. And the good news is, it can be used for the decking area too.
This type of decking doesn’t contain any natural components like wood and is almost plastic. It is effectively resistant to stains and the maintenance required is quite low. Plus its color does not fade over time very easily.
3. Composite Mixture
It is a combination of synthetic as well as natural substances. It combines plastic with wood fiber. Amazing looks, a variety of textures and shades, and low maintenance, it has got it all.
Once you have chosen the type of decking you are looking for, there arises a question. Where should the decking area be placed so that there isn’t much risk?
Where Should the Decking Area Be Placed?
Well, if you are to light a fire in the decking area, you better choose the location of the decking wisely. The answer partly depends upon the surrounding climatic conditions.
- If you live in an area with warm climatic conditions, you might want to choose a spot with shade.
- But if the climatic conditions are quite cool, go for a sunny location.
The main reason to look for climatic conditions is that when you light the fire and if there are winds rushing by it is quite harmful. So, you might want to light the fire on a day with less harsh conditions. A gentle wind is absolutely fine. But keep it in mind, no harsh conditions.
Another thing to consider is the distance of the decking from your house. Keeping it closer to the house might be easier, but it comes with a risk if you are thinking of lighting a fire over it. Build it at a safe distance in your yard or garden. That much walking distance would rather be beneficial for you.
Types of Fire Pits
Before knowing how to use a fire pit on decking, first, let us see the ways in which you can light the fire. Basically, you can light the fire on the decking in two ways.
1. Wood Burning Fire Pits
Wood burning fire pits are the traditional choice of most people. They are easy to install, easier to ignite, and give a warm, natural feel. Usually, they are used over the stands made up of metals or alloys like cast iron. The supporting legs of the stand help to maintain a distance between the deck and the fire pit.
But they come with disadvantages too. They produce sparks that can cause great harm if not handled properly. So you need to keep all the items far away not to catch fire easily. Plus, you need time to ignite the fire as well as to blow it off.
2. Gas Fire Pit
If you don’t want to take the risk of sparks jumping around, here’s a great option. Gas-fueled fire pits reduce the risk of sparks, giving you a safe space around. Once installed, you can turn it on and off easily. Unlike wood-burning fire pits, you won’t need to wait for them to ignite the fire as well as to blow it off.
But if it has pros, it is sure to have some cons. It gives less heat as compared to wood-burning fire pits. It needs a pre-planned installation process and isn’t something we can do spontaneously as a plan. Install a gas pipeline carefully.
The temperature of The Fire Pit and Deck
Worried about how hot will the pit get? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. We’ll inform you of everything already. Since the wood-burning fire pits are the most convenient ones, you might want to go for them. Basically, the temperature of the wood-burning fire pits is expected to exceed over 1000° F.
With such high temperatures, the heat is sure to pass on to the deck. The temperature of the deck might rise to a great extent. I have installed a composite or PVC deck, and if it is exposed to such high temperatures, it is sure to get damaged since it is mostly plastic-based.
The best way to avoid this is to use a fire pit pad or any other similar barrier.
The Ultimate Guide to Using A Fire Pit on Decking
Well, after knowing this much, you are ready to light a fire on the wooden or composite deck. Here’s the ultimate guide and some precautions.
Step 1. The first and foremost precaution is to see that you are not placing the fire pit directly onto the wooden deck. The bare wood may be exposed to the high temperatures of the fire pit, ashes, gas, and what not? Instead, get yourself a fire pit pad or a fire pit mat.
It works as an excellent fire-retardant. It can absorb temperatures over 1300° F. With little investment, you won’t have to compromise on your safety. It is available in different materials like stone and metal. They cover the fire pit area and a little beyond that so as to ensure extra safety.
Get your fire pit pad within a click. Click on the link given below.
Step 2. Even if you install a fire pit pad, it is suggested to use the stand that comes along with your fire pit. Remember, extra safety will never go to waste. Can you imagine the mess caused because of a little ignorance? Well, you don’t want to, right? So don’t risk your wooden deck by placing the fire pit directly on top of it.
Step 3. If your deck is placed in the yard, place the fire pit such that it is away from trees and its parts (even grass). A little spark near the trees and there you’ll see them on fire (reminds me of the jungle book, right? Oh, don’t let that happen over here.)
Step 4. To avoid such instances, investing in spark screens proves to be very beneficial. They will keep those jumping sparks at bay. You can purchase the spark screens easily online or some fire pits offer them along with them. If you have gas-fueled fire pits, then you are fine, but if you prefer wood-burning fire pits more, a spark screen is a savior.
Here’s a link that will help you get the spark screen.
Step 5. Here comes an extra layer between the fire and the deck. This tip not only adds to the safety measures but is a secret to keep your fire pit pad unharmed, just as new. Pouring a thick layer of sand under the fire pit works as a supplementary layer between the fire pit and the deck.
Step 6. Light your fire pit away from other materials, especially flammable materials. Usually, it is been suggested to light the fire approximately 25 to 30 feet away from any easily flammable material. Remember, just a little spark, and your house will be at a greater risk.
Step 7. When the conditions seem pretty rough and windy outside, it’s better to call off the plan of using the fire pit. Soft and breezy conditions are all right but during blustery weather conditions, we say it’s a no.
Step 8. Clear the deck before using the fire pit. Make it free of trash like dried out leaves etc.
Step 9. Install the gas supply connection carefully, away from anyone’s notice.
Step 10. Disposal of the embers and ashes is necessary after the usage of the fire pit.
Step 11. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
As it is rightly said, nothing is impossible. So is true for using fire pits on decking. With proper precautions and safety measures, you can easily use a fire pit on decking and enjoy a wonderful evening without any worries.
You can use the fire pits for a number of reasons. To get light, warmth, and even for cooking. Yes, you can use the fire pit for cooking your delicious snacks too. Amazing, isn’t it? So, get ready people, some of your memorable evenings are right on their way!
We hope this guide helped you with what you were looking for. Go ahead people; light up that fire pit, the evening is all yours!