What type of fire pit can go on a deck?

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Outdoor living areas can expand the usable square footage of a home. One way to make an outdoor living area more enjoyable is to add a fire pit. The warm glow from a fire can allow extended use of the outdoor spaces into both early spring and late fall.

For an outdoor deck you may choose the fire pit according to safety and aesthetic guidelines.

Deck Construction

The first consideration of what kind of fire pit you can use is deck construction. If your deck is constructed of brick and mortar or concrete, there are a wide variety of fire pits available. You can operate many different styles of fire pit safely because these deck constructions are not readily flammable. You may consider a table style, a bowl style or even a chimenea. You may prefer a permanent installation involving natural gas and glass logs. Some of these you can turn on and off with the flick of a switch.

Flammable Decks

If deck construction is of a flammable material, the fire pit must be high enough above the surface to avoid starting a fire. The fire pit must also be stable enough that it will not tip over and spill fire out onto the surface of the deck. Some of the fire bowls and chimeneas may work in this regard, and some may be on legs but still be too close to the deck surface to be used safely. A safe option may be a propane fire table. The propane tank is hidden under the table, and the table surface is elevated significantly from the deck surface. Check the user's guide on any fire pit under consideration for proper safety tips.

Deck Protection

It is possible that you can adapt the fire bowl or fire table with the best aesthetic appeal to a wood deck by adding a fire pit pad. These pads are flame resistant and are designed to protect a deck from temperatures as high as 1,37.7 to 760 degrees C. If you choose a fire pit installation over a flammable material, these pads can add significant safety measures to the fire pit.

Ground Installation

If the deck is at or near ground level but is of flammable construction, construct a fire pit in a nearby location on the ground. Use fire bricks to form the pit directly in the soil. Build up brick or rock around the fire bricks as desired. When enjoying a fire pit, always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.