How to Use a Fire Pit On Wood or Composite Deck Safely

You can safely use your fire pit on your wood or composite deck by maintaining some precautions. In this article, you will find details regarding putting a fire pit on a wood or composite deck. Let’s dive in…

How to Use a Fire Pit On Wood or Composite Deck Safely

Are fire pits safe for decks?

Yes, a fire pit is safe for both wooden and composite decks if proper safety precautions are taken. A good understanding of safety potential, risks, and ways to handle a portable firepit on combustible substances, helps in enjoying a warm evening on the deck, even if your yard is small.

Can you sit a fire pit on composite decking?

You can sit a fire pit on composite decking by placing a firepit mat or pad under the pit and maintaining minimum distance (distance to home) and other safety precautions. 

Composite deckings come in a variable mixture of ingredients. Some are combinations of wood, wood particle, recycled materials, PVC, etc. Some can even have no wood in them. But, whatever the ingredients of composite decking are, no composite decking is 100%  fireproof. Therefore, placing a mat under the pit is a must. Also, a  distance of 20 feet between the pit and home is necessary. As the composite decking also comes with many potential risks, composite deck damage comes from the high heat of the fire pit. 

However, there are different types of fire-resistant composite decking. So if you plan to sit a fire pit on composite decking, better check this fire-resistance rating:

Class A: These materials’ score is between 0-25. Which is highly fire impeding and the best choice for a fire pit user.

Class B: Class B materials are rated between 26-75 and considered moderately fire-retardant.

Class C: Rated between 76-200 and not recommended for fire pit usage. 

This rating describes how fast a fire would spread on a particular material. (in this case, composite decking) 

Precautions to Take While Putting Fire Pit on Deck

As earlier mentioned, putting a firepit on deck requires some necessary safety precautions, which are described below:

  1. Creating a barrier for the fire pit

A fire pit should never be placed directly in a wooden or composite deck. Directly placing a fire pit on the deck can cause a potential fire disaster, weakening the decking and its support structures. Placing a fire pit mat or pad is an excellent choice to protect the deck and home from these risks. Which are incredibly heat resistant. Also, pavers or bricks can be used as natural barriers.

  1. Location selection

The selection of fire pit sitting location is significant, as a slight mistake can lead to a risk of the home catching fire. So, here are some instructions on selecting the location;

– Place the fire pit  20 feet away from your home(minimum 10 feet away).

– The pit should be not near the garage, room, or any structure.

– Pick a location far from flammable items, furniture, or overhangs.

  1. Using additional layers of sand or gravel

Before lighting the fire pit, you should add additional layers of sand or gravel in the pit. This step provides double safety from the fire to heating the deck and catching fire.

  1. Keeping safety materials nearby

Put safety materials near the fire pit, such as a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand, etc. Keep them within reach, so you can take action early before any disaster happens.

  1. Keeping the deck neat and clean

Fire can easily send embers flying from the pit. If that ember touches a leave or combustible waste, it can create a fire and lead to a home-catching disaster. So, sweeping and cleaning the deck before lighting a fire, especially leaves, tree branches, papers, lighter fluid, etc., is very necessary.

  1. Staying alert and using a spark screen

Despite maintaining all the safety rules and taking precautions, you can not predict changing winds or sudden gusts, so staying alert while the fire pit is in use is an excellent step to safety. Also, a fire pit spark screen can handle unpredicted ember spark or wind gusts.

What Types of Fire Pits are Best For Wooden Decks

For wooden decks, firepits made of metal or cast iron as well as supported by sturdy and firm legs are a good choice. Also, you can use gas fire pits, as they produce less heat than wood-burning pits, and the temperature can be controlled.

You can also check the usage of fire pits.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Put a Propane Fire Pit on a Composite Deck?

Yes, you can use a propane fire pit on a composite deck. However, while using a propane fire pit on a composite deck, a temperature barrier(fire pit mat, pad, deck protecting pad, etc.) is a great choice, cause different types of composite decks, for instance, Fiberon, Lumberock, TimberTech, Trex, Cali-Bamboo, etc have a temperature point, where they will catch fire or start to soften.

Is Composite Decking Fire Resistant?

There is no composite decking that is 100% fire-resistant. Composite decking is mainly the combination of different materials, and it’s wrong to assume they are fire-resistant just because they are not made of wood.

Do I Need a Mat Under My Firepit?

It would help if you had a fire pit mat or protective deck pad under your firepit. However, the fire pit can not be placed directly on the deck.

How Heat Resistant is Composite Decking?

The heat-resistant capacity of composite decking depends on its materials. So, there are different types of composite decking are based on their heat retardant capacity. The fire-resistant rating of composite decking can determine heat-resistant capacity. But, no composite decking is 100% heat resistant at all.

Is Trex Composite Decking Fireproof?

No, Trex composite decking is not fireproof at all. Instead, their decking is rated as Class C Fire rating, which expresses that their deck material can only be exposed to low flames. In addition, the company stated that “decking will soften as low as 176 degrees Fahrenheit.”


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