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If you have a wood deck it can be tricky to find outdoor fire pits that are safe to keep lit on them. After all, wood burns! Here’s some ideas to help you find the perfect heat source without the least amount of risk.
Outdoor Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
If you want to use a firepit on a wood deck the most important thing is to remember fire safety rules when it comes to positioning your fire pit. You should also take extra care to supervise kids and pets, especially if the fire pit is set up in a high traffic area like the deck.
The best types of fire pits for a deck are gas and propane ones since they don’t release sparks or ash as they burn.
Fireproof Your Deck
It’s recommended that you fireproof your wood deck regardless of firepit type. Any kind of open flame can pose a safety risk, especially if the wood is dry or older.
An easy way to do that is with a fireproof mat.
SPUEXCMAT Square Fire Pit Mat
A protective mat like this one can be an easy way to keep your wooden deck safe from any sparks that come off a wood fire pit or accidentally burns from other fire pit types. Make sure you check the measurements before ordering to make sure your deck is well protected.
What I like about this option is that you have more leeway about what type of fire pit you can use on your deck. They can also be easily rolled up when you’re done.
- Easy to set up and store
- Protects your deck from fire
- Cost-effective solution
- A bit of an eyesore
- Won’t completely protect your deck from fire
Wood Burning Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
It’s strongly recommended that you create a no burning zone on your wood deck to minimize the risk of sparks jumping and igniting the wood below. Generally speaking, wood is the worst choice when it comes to safety, so proceed with caution.
Tips for Putting a Wood Burning Fire Pit on a Deck:
- Make sure it has a screen
- Choose fire pits that sit higher off the ground
- Keep the fire small
- Fireproof the surface below
Amagabeli Fire Pit with Waterproof Cover
The full enclosure of this firepit makes it one of the better options for a wood deck. As long as the lid is on at all times you shouldn’t have to worry about sparks flying outside and accidentally igniting your deck.
Another great feature is the legs; they’ll help prevent heat from transferring to your deck. The legs are sturdy too.
- Deep fire pit
- Fully enclosed
- Easy to assemble and move around
- Can be prone to rust (keep it out of the weather and use the included cover)
- Included grill grate can’t be used with the lid on
Amagabeli Fire Pit Outdoor Wood Burning Cast Iron Firepit
This firepit bowl is great because it keeps the flame far away from the deck below. The grate on the sides lets you enjoy the fire’s heat, but it’s tall enough that the ash has a harder time escaping.
It’s a decent size, but still small enough to fit on the deck. Make sure you don’t overload it with wood, and I’d also recommend grabbing a cover for it too.
- Tall design means the fire is more enclosed
- Legs keep the heat away from the ground
- A perfect size if you want a smaller fire pit that still works well
- Doesn’t come with a spark shield lid
- No accessories are included
- The base isn’t very big on the bottom so if you’re using it for a long time the ash build up could present problems if it reaches the mesh sides
Propane Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
Propane firepits use a propane tank, like the one used for a BBQ, to fuel them. Most of the time a propane fire pit has its own source of ignition, a way to control the intensity of the flame, and somewhere to hold the propane tank built in.
They’re a safer choice for wood decks because there are no sparks.
Legacy Heating 28inch Wicker & Rattan Square Propane Fire Pit Table
I like firepit tables for wood decks because they double as a functional piece of furniture. Use it with a conversation set for a relaxing place to chill out or entertain guests. This one also comes with a lid so you can just use it as a table (plus protect the firepit) when you don’t need it lit.
The propane tank is stored inside the base and the flame gives off 48,000 BTUs of heat – enough to keep those sitting around it warm.
- Propane tank storage is built in
- Doubles as a table
- Easy to put together
- Heat is nice, but not super warm especially if you’re sitting further away from the table
- On the smaller side (good for small groups)
- Included lava rocks aren’t very nice, so you may want to replace them
BAIDE HOME Outdoor Gas Propane Fire Pit Table
A couple of these would be great on a deck if you wanted a warming area during evening parties. It looks great, and the height is really nice for sitting around or standing. The propane tank is stored inside the base so you don’t have to worry about that eyesore either.
As far as heat is concerned, you’re only looking at 40,000 BTUs on this one. Great for warming your hands, but not going to keep the whole deck warm when it’s chilly. Still, it’s a great option if you want ambiance.
- Good height, can be enjoyed sitting or standing
- Nice design looks great
- Good ambiance
- Lava rocks are included, but it would look better with glass rocks
- Heat output is good but not great
- Wind glass is sold separately
Best Natural Gas Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
Natural gas fire pits are hard to come by. Most of the time they’re interchangeable with propane ones, usually with a gas converter kit. Or they’re custom made/installed by professionals.
BBQGuys Signature Westfalen 18-Inch Square High-Rise Natural Gas Column Fire Bowl
This fire bowl is designed to be set on top of a column permanently. The natural gas line runs through the bottom, so you’ll have to build something custom to hook it up. If you want a solution where there’s no visible gas line this is it.
This will put out a whopping 92,000 BTUs of heat once set up. Great for heating up an outdoor area during cooler weather! Since it’s commercial grade you can expect it to last for years, too.
- Significant heat output
- Nice, modern design
- Made specifically for natural gas, no need to convert it
- Must be installed on a column or structure
- Permanent installation required
- Not the most practical solution
Outland Living Model 823 Portable Propane Fire Pit
This little fire pit is great if you want a small amount of heat that’s easy to set up. While it’s not included, it does have a CSA approved natural gas conversion kit available so you know it’s safe to use with either fuel source.
It can easily be set on a table top away from the deck, too.
- Portable and easy to set up
- Can be placed on top of a table or on the ground
- Outputs a lot of heat (58,000 BTUs)
- CSA approved natural gas conversion kit is sold separately (and will require additional set up)
- Might be too small
- Simple design (not very stylish)
Best Electric Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
Electric firepits don’t exist. Oops! Think about it, electric fireplaces are not actually creating a flame… They’re usually LED or other kinds of light sources. They might emit heat, but it’s not the same as wood, propane, or natural gas.
But, an electric fireplace is also a way to get that fire look outdoors without posing a fire hazard. Done right, they can look super classy on a deck!
Note: These electric fireplaces are not designed for outdoor use, but if you keep them out of the elements they should be OK to use on your covered wood deck!
SUNNY FLAME 36 Inch Electric Fireplace Insert
This wall mounted electric fireplace is really cool looking because of the flame colours. Mounted onto your home’s wall and under an awning it could be very well protected from summer weather.
It does give off heat, if that’s what you’re looking for. The temperature setting is adjustable too. In the winter or off season just unhook it and bring it inside! I have a friend who does this with a TV outside all summer, so I’d imagine a fireplace would work the same way.
- Really cool (and trendy!) LED light effects
- Can be inset or hung against the wall
- Great for DIY projects
- Not weatherproof
- No real flame
- Can’t be set up just anywhere; has to be wall mounted
TURBRO Suburbs Compact Electric Fireplace Stove
This cute little electric wood stove is great if you want a more traditional or rustic look for your deck. It has a heater and fan so you can use it to stay warm, as well as creating that fireside ambiance safely.
It has a 6 foot cord which should give you some flexibility to set it up around the deck.
- Portable, can be positioned where you want it
- Gives off heat and has a fan
- Real flame effect
- 6 foot cord isn’t that long for a big deck
Final Thoughts on Outdoor Firepits That Are Safe for Wood Decks
Wood decks aren’t the ideal spot to put a firepit, so do so at your own risk and take steps to minimize dangers. The best outdoor firepits that are safe for wood decks are propane or natural gas options, with wood being more difficult to use safely.
Electric fireplaces also pose a unique safe option if you’d rather create ambiance without a real flame. They’re also cool to the touch, meaning better for kids too.
Regardless, though, adding a firepit to your deck is a great way to add some extra heat, ambiance, or roast some marshmallows!
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