Protecting your Deck from a Fire Pit

5 Tips on Protecting Your Deck from a Fire Pit

Firepits have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many people are eager to set them up on their deck but do not know how to do it safely. 

When creating a firepit on your deck, you must ensure it is not near your house. You also want a special firepit mat to protect you and your deck. You can arrange pavers or bricks around the firepit to prevent damage to your deck. 

Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water handy. If you want to know five tips to protect your deck from a firepit, peruse this article.  

Can a Firepit Damage Your Deck?

Woodburning and gas firepits can be utilized safely on wood or composite decks if they are located reasonably far from any parts of your home or outdoor structure. If you are not careful, there can be irreparable damage to the deck, or the structure may become weak. The cost of replacing composite or wood decking can be costly if proper precautions are not taken. 

Gas fire pits do not provide as much heat as wood-burning ones, but they can still cause damage. When choosing a type of firepit for your deck, you should keep it 20 to 30 feet from structures and your home. When you want to place a firepit on your deck, keep the following in mind:

  • Position your pit in a low-traffic area to limit your contact with it
  • Position the firepit away from overhead structures and tree branches
  • Find a spot that can accommodate your seats 3 to 5 feet away from the firepit in every direction
  • Select an area where the firepit can be easily observed and controlled to protect children and pets

Before installing your firepit, check to ensure it is a good fit for your space. Read your installation manual for an idea of what your deck can handle. You will need to determine the weight requirements, research your location, and figure out what you need to make your fire pit safer. Learn your city’s code and regulations. 

What is a Heat Shield?

A heat shield protects surfaces from heat damage caused by standard gas and wood-burning fire pits. It reflects more heat upward and outward, and it is like a heat shield for space crafts and airplanes. However, you do not need that much for your fire pit. To protect your deck, you should have a heat shield. 

Another way to protect your deck is by putting down pavers, and you can find pavers made explicitly for this purpose. Brick and stone are common materials because they can withstand high heat and serve as a barrier. Fire brick can endure about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use barbecue paint as a shield. 

5 Tips on Protecting your Deck from a Fire Pit

When you are using a firepit, you should never be left to its own devices. It could start a fire or, even worse, harm someone. You must be diligent about protecting yourself and those around you. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, as it is better to be safe than sorry. The following includes five tips to protect your deck from a fire pit:

1. Clean Up the Area

When you light a fire in your fire pit, you want to ensure that the surrounding area is clean, which means leaves and old newspapers must be picked up and thrown out, as these items have the propensity to catch on fire. 

You want a clear area to work with. Stray embers in the smoke could easily spark a fire if you do not clear a space. Items like dry leaves and newspapers are highly appealing to these lively sparks. Sweep the area as well as possible to ensure nothing can catch fire.

2. Perform Good Firepit Clearance

Never place a firepit closer than 10 feet from anything that could catch fire, which includes overgrown tree branches and your home. You need to be extremely careful because your home could catch fire. Firepits emit lots of heat, which can damage your siding and cost you a lot of money in repairs. 

As a general rule, you should keep at least 20 feet between the firepit and your home. Even more importantly, if your home does not have at least 20 feet between your house and the fire pit, you should probably skip the firepit and find another way to entertain your houseguests. You must always refer to your owner’s manual if you have questions about where to put your firepit. 

3. Utilize Proper Equipment for Firepit

Do not place a fire pit on a deck without the proper equipment. Use a specially made firepit mat designed to keep you and your deck safe from the unthinkable. They can endure extreme heat and scorching. Some great tools on the market can help make your firepit safer:

  • Screens and spark guards are usually made of steel and mesh. The screens keep sparks and ash from creating a fire 
  • Metal or stone cover will prevent fire pits from creating damage, and it offers adequate protection 
  • Pads and bases are made from stone, pavers, or metal. It keeps the heat and embers from coming too close for comfort.  

If none of the above options seem appealing, you can surround the firepit with pavers or bricks, protecting the deck from heat damage. While there are some great DIY ideas when it comes to making an item to serve as a barrier, the safety of you and your family is better left to a product made for this specific purpose. 

4. Do Not Play Games with Lighter Fluid

Any attempt to make your fire burn higher, more extensively, and brighter could cost you your safety. You do not want to play games with lighter fluid and end on the receiving end of a wildfire. It can lead to a flare-up and cause severe burns. 

5. Make Sure Water is Nearby

You can easily keep a bucket of water around to douse any unexpected flare-ups. Water is a lot less complicated than a fire extinguisher. If a fire occurs, you will be prepared. 


You must be safe if you want to set up a firepit on your deck. If you take all the safety precautions mentioned in this article, you should not have any problems.