The weather is getting warmer, which means we can spend warm afternoons outside with friends and family. When the sun goes down, there is nothing more welcoming than a fire. But can you put a fire pit on top of the composite decking? This is a common question asked by many homeowners looking to build an outdoor space. Putting a fire pit on top of composite decking seems to be very dangerous, depending on many factors. Composite deck boards are a huge investment, so you don’t want to have damage to your deck. But with the right safety precautions, it’s safe to use a fire pit on your deck. In this article, we will discuss the risks of using different types of fire pits on your deck, and how to use them safely on your deck.
The risks of placing a fire pit
Many homeowners and installers choose composite decking materials. Because it is less expensive to maintain and more durable. However, it is important to note that composite decking is not fire-resistant, and placing a traditional fire pit on a deck can be very dangerous. Composite materials can melt, deform or burn if exposed to heat or flame. In addition, burning ashes can fall on the deck and cause damage or discoloration. For these reasons, we do not recommend that you place a wood-burning fire pit directly on composite decks.
Best fire pit for composite deck
The best and safest fire pits for composite decking are propane fire pits, gas fire pits, and electric fire pits. Fire pits on composite decking are very safe if you take the right precautions.
Propane fire pits and gas fire pits
Propane and gas fire pits are the safest composite decking fire pits. they do not generate much heat and therefore do not pose a heat hazard to the deck. They also do not drop any ashes or sparks, so they are very safe for your composite decking materials.
These fire pits are also very easy to install, and you can easily install them on your deck. Although propane and gas fire pits are very safe, it is also very important to use a fire pit mat for the composite deck to effectively protect your composite deck board.
Note that the bottom of a gas fire pit is very hot and you will need an effective heat-resistant barrier to protect your deck.
Electric fire pit
This is a new product in the market and a very safe option. It does not require a lot of maintenance costs, does not pose a fire risk because it uses electricity, and is much easier to use. The electric fire pit can be built into the deck, saving you more outdoor space.
However, electric fire pits are more expensive. And because they use electricity to generate heat, they produce less heat than traditional fire pits or gas fire pits.
Considerations for safe fire pit use
Choosing the right fire pit
If you decide to put a fire pit on top of composite decking, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Use gas and electric fire pits instead of wood fire pits, they are safer to use on composite deck boards. These fire pits are a better choice for homeowners who want a safer fire pit.
Using fire pit pads
Make sure your composite decking fire pit is centered and place it on the fire pit mat for the composite deck. The fire pit mat acts as a barrier between the fire pit and the deck, effectively insulating it from heat and reducing the risk associated with heat. Choose a mat made of fireproof material and make sure the fire pit mat is sufficient to cover the underside of the fire pit.
Create a suitable buffer zone around the fire pit for the composite deck. Usually, you will find instructions that state the fire pit needs to be at least 10 feet from the house. But we recommend extending the distance and suggest keeping the fire pit at least 20 feet away from the house. And avoid placing any debris or flammable materials around the fire pit, which will reduce the risk of igniting flammable materials. However, this also means that some small decks are unable to maintain a safe distance between the fire pit and the house. For these homeowners, we do not recommend installing a composite decking fire pit.
Placing water and fire extinguishers
Always use caution and common sense when using a fire pit over composite decking. Make sure you have plenty of water and a fire extinguisher within reach and let everyone know where it is located. For many homes, fire extinguishers and garden hoses have become standard. If not, always keep a bucket full of water near the fire pit. This will ensure that if an accident occurs, anyone can take action to put out the fire in time.
Clear the deck
Before you use a fire pit on a composite deck, make sure the area around it is clear of debris, leaves, lighters, and any other flammable and explosive items.
Please note that fires can burst or blow up, which causes ash and embers to fly out of the fire pit very easily. Ashes may ignite if they fall on leaves, debris, or flammable and explosive items. So make sure you have cleaned up well before the recreational activities begin.
Clean up after cooling
Wait 24 hours for the fire pit and its contents to cool completely before scooping the ashes out of the fire pit for proper disposal. Ashes left in the fire pit for an extended period of time may cause corrosion of the fire pit or deck. If ash is blown out of the fire pit, it can also leave your deck dirty.
Can you put a fire pit on top of the composite decking? If you can take adequate safety precautions and your outdoor deck is large enough, then it is possible to place a fire pit. Always use caution when using a fire pit in your outdoor living space and follow local codes to ensure the safety of you and your property.