As the days get shorter, and the nights grow colder, you may be spending less time outside enjoying your deck. Adding a fire pit to your outdoor deck area is a great way to enhance its value, create a tranquil atmosphere, and keep your family warm while you enjoy the last nights of summer. Of course, if you have a wooden deck, there’s many considerations and requirements that you’ll need to understand and follow to ensure that your deck is installed properly and that it won’t create a safety hazard.
Check Local Requirement: Before you even decide whether or not to build a fire pit on (or near) your wooden deck, check with your local city and county’s office to learn its laws and requirements regarding outside fires. For example, if you live in the city of Minneapolis, you are only permitted to have an outdoor fire between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., and it must be at least 25 feet away from your home.
Choose a Designated Area: Make sure you never build the fire pit under nearby trees, next to deck accessories and furniture, or too close to the siding of your home. It’s recommended that your fire pit be at least 25 feet away from your home’s siding, but like the Minneapolis example above, you’ll want to ensure you check any ordinances regarding open fires to ensure you don’t face any fines.
Keep a Water Hose or Fire Extinguisher Nearby: Whether or not your county requires you to do so, having a hose or extinguisher close by is essential to preventing damage to your home and protecting your family’s safety. It’s also a good idea to ensure that other members of the family understand how to use a hose or extinguisher in the event of an emergency.
Use a Flame-Resistant Mat: To protect your wooden deck, you’ll want to place something in-between your decking materials and fire pit to prevent sparks from hitting the wood and catching fire. It’s recommended that you either purchase a flame-resistant mat or build a landing base made from either metal or brick. If you go with the DIY option, make sure the flame-resistant surface is at least 25 inches beyond the circumference of the pit.
Building a fire pit on a wooden deck takes proper planning and consideration. If you have questions or would like to learn more deck safety tips, contact the deck building professionals at UglyDeck.com. We’ll answer all your questions and help you make well-informed decisions about your decking materials to ensure your outdoor deck is safe, adds value to your home, and looks its best all year round.