Everybody wants one, but not everybody knows how to use one. Over the years, the techs at efireplacestore.com have received thousands of questions about our fire pits. People want to know about fire pit set up, safety, and customization.
- Fire pit
Because everyone can't be a NFI certified technician, we created this quick article to answer some of the most "burning" fire pit questions. We hope this article sheds some light on common misunderstandings and keeps you and your loved ones safe all burn season long.
Question #1: Can I install a fire pit under a covering or inside a screened in porch?
- Fireplace under covering - click here for photo credit
Wood or pellet fire pits are never able to be used underneath a covering. It is recommended to keep them at least 20 ft away from your home as well. Most gas burning fire pits putting off 150k BTU's or more require open-air installation. Though, gas fire pits putting off 60k BTU's or less may be allowed installation under a covered area. Typically, there's clearance requirements of 6ft – 10ft of space between the top of your fire pit and the surface it is under. Check with the manufacturer for specific guidelines based on your appliance.
Question #2: Can a fire pit be placed on a wood deck?
- Fire pit on wood deck
Wood burning fire pits are not allowed on a large majority of decks, especially composite wood decks. A blend of plastic and wood creates the composite material and in turn makes it very vulnerable to heat. Wood burning fire pits are so highly regulated because it's impossible for a manufacturer to know how big their customer will make their fire. How much heat they produce determines what materials they can be sat on. Each fire will be different because of the different types and sizes of wood used to build it. At certain temperatures, deck materials can warp, melt, or darken.
However, gas fire pits and smaller diameter fire pits, are less regulated because they can be built with a cap on the heat they produce. You still may need to use protective rugs as a barrier between the appliance and your wood deck to make sure the deck materials aren't ruined by the heat from the fire pit.
Question #3: How do I protect my deck from heat from my fire pit?
- Fire mats
First, ensure the appliance you have is safe for your deck. Second, there are literally TONS of options to choose from when it comes to deck protection. You can go with a simple grill mat or you can make a fire pit pad with a Micore base and stone or brick second layer.
Note: Make sure anything you buy is rated for outdoor use.
Question #4: Can I cook over a gas fire pit? Or roast marshmallows?
- Roasting marshmallows
It is not recommended. Gas fire pits are made for looks, not utility. Super hot blue flames found in grills vaporize chemical by-products of gas fuel and protect you from contamination. Gas fire pits have a cooler, yellow flame that can not completely neutralize the chemicals. If you decide to cook over it you may end up sick and risk ruining your appliance if food drips into the mechanical parts of the fire pit.
Question #5: Can I use charcoal in a wood burning fire pit?
- Fire pit with grill
Yes! (Yay, aren't you excited?) For cast iron and bowl-shaped steel fire pits, charcoal can definitely be burned instead of wood. Many manufacturers offer drop-in grills that elevate the functionality of the appliance and allow it to operate more like a charcoal grill.
So, now we've reached the end. We hope this article was helpful and that your burning questions have now been tempered to a low roar. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to our NFI certified techs here.