Firepit on a wooden deck

Tips To Make Fire Pits Safe For Decks (Wood And Composite)

Using a fire pit on a deck can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family, but it is essential to ensure that you do so safely. If you don’t take the proper precautions or fail to make your fire pit safe for decking, you could end up causing severe damage!

This blog post will give you five tips to make your fire pit safe for decks! You will also learn about the three types of fire pits and their risks.

But before we get to the juicy tips, is it safe to satisfy this burning desire?

Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Deck?

Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Wooden Deck?

The short answer is yes. You can safely place a fire pit on wood decking. However, there’s always that risk of it causing damage to the decking – or even worse, starting a fire.

After all, wood decking is not all that different from the fuel burning in the pit!

Firepit on a wooden deck with bench and trees

Although you can do it safely, we don’t recommend using a fire pit on a wood deck, especially if it is burning wood, unless you’re working with a seasoned professional.

Check Your Town’s Code! Your city or town may have specific regulations about open flames. Check with local authorities or a licensed contractor before you start using fires on your wood deck!

Can You Put A Fire Pit On A Composite Deck?

Composite decks are made from wood and plastic, making them less likely to catch fire than wood decks. Therefore, we recommend using fire pits on composite decks (or PVC decks).

a round stone firepit on the deck with seating arrangement

However, you should still take many precautions.

But before we get to them, it’s essential to know the different types of fire pits, as each has its own set of pros and cons.

The 3 Main Types Of Fire Pits For Decking

There are three main types of fire pits – wood-burning, gas, and electric. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The risk level will differ depending on the type of fire pit you choose.

  1. Wood-Burning Fire Pits

The benefits of using a wood-burning fire pit are that they are typically cheaper to install than gas or electric fire pits and can create a more traditional experience.

The sound and smell of crackling wood can be very soothing and relaxing.

The downside is that they require more maintenance and care than other types of fire pits. You will need to clean the ashes out regularly and keep a good supply of wood on hand for when you want to use the pit.

In addition, the risk of starting a fire is higher with wood-burning pits, so it is vital to take extra precautions when using one on your deck. That’s why local authorities in many areas have more restrictions on wood-burning fire pits.

  1. Gas Fire Pits

Gas fire pits are popular because they are easy to use and require less maintenance than wood-burning pits. They are also safer and more energy-efficient.

Gas fire pits use propane or natural gas, and you can turn them on and off with the flip of a switch.

The difference between propane and natural gas is that propane is stored in a tank, while natural gas is piped into your home.

If you choose a propane-powered fire pit, you will need to ensure the tank is full before using it. Natural gas fire pits are more convenient but more expensive and difficult to install. New gas lines need to be run from your home to the fire pit, which can be a big project.

  1. Electric Fire Pits

Electric fire pits are the newest type of fire pit on the market and offer several benefits. Electric fire pits are easy to use and require no maintenance. They are also very safe, as there is significantly less risk of fire hazards.

The downside? Electric fire pits are more costly and require lots of electricity. Additionally, the flames from electric fire pits are not as hot as those from wood-burning or gas models.

An electric model is a good option if you are looking for a low-risk fire pit that is easy to use and requires no maintenance. However, if you are looking for a more traditional experience or want the flames to be hotter, you may want to choose a different kind.

5 Tips To Make Your Deck Fire Pit Safer

You’ve made it far, so here are the tips. If you follow these, you can use a fire pit on your deck more safely.

Firepit on a wooden deck

  1. Use A Fire Pit Screen

A fire pit screen is a heat-resistant metal mesh screen placed over the top of the fire pit to prevent sparks and embers from flying out.

Whether using a screen is essential will depend on the type of fire pit you have. If you have a portable fire pit or a wood-burning pit, a fire pit screen can be a good way to decrease the chances of a safety hazard.

  1. Create A Thermal Barrier Between The Fire-Pit And The Decking

A fire pit screen may help to contain any sparks that fly out from the fire, but you need a thermal barrier to protect the decking from the heat radiating from the fire pit.

Firepit on a wooden deck during the night skyline

The most common way to build a thermal barrier around your fire pit is by constructing it with heat-resistant materials such as concrete or pavers. Fire pit tables with glass walls are another great option and achieve a more modern look.

A popular option for portable fire pits is to place the fire pit on top of a heat-resistant metal tray that will raise the fire pit off the ground and create a barrier between the heat source and the decking. You can search for “fire pit heat shield” or “fire pit pad” to find different models.

  1. Don’t Leave The Fire Pit Unattended

This one should be pretty self-explanatory, but it’s important nonetheless. If you leave the fire pit unattended, there is a risk that the fire will get out of control and spread to your deck.

firepit around table and chairs on a deck on first floor

So, try to keep an eye on the fire while it’s burning. This is especially true with portable fire pits that can tip over or fire pits that burn wood rather than gas or electricity.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a plan for what to do if the fire starts to get out of control.

  1. Keep A Hose Or Fire Extinguisher Close By

If you have a well-designed composite deck fire pit, the risk of your deck catching on fire is very low. However, it’s a good idea to have a hose or fire extinguisher close by in case of an emergency.

If you have a wood deck, it’s even more important to keep security measures like this in place.

  1. Place The Fire Pit On An Area Of The Deck That Is Away From Any Trees, Bushes, Or Other Flammable Objects

You should also be aware of any flammable objects close to the fire pit, as they could catch on fire if the wind blows in the wrong direction.

A good rule of thumb is to place the fire pit on an area of the deck that is at least 10 to 20 feet away from flammable objects.


By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your fire pit on your deck safely and responsibly. Just be sure to take precautions and be safe!

Know someone that may be interested in fire pits? Share this blog post with them! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely evening around the fire pit together one day. Thanks for reading!

If you’re looking for a deck with a fire pit in Fishers, Indianapolis, our pro contractors are here to help you. We can design and build a safe and beautiful deck with a fire pit that will add value to your home and beauty to your backyard with no hassle or worries on your end.

Artisan Outdoor Craftsman can build the perfect and safest deck fire pit for your home. If you live in the Fishers, IN & Greater Indianapolis areas, feel free to call 317-648-1137 or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.