5 tips to safely using a fire feature on your covered patio

5 Tips to Safely Using a Fire Feature on Your Covered Patio

11/02/2021|by Jason Klein

The use of fire features has grown in popularity over the years. More and more people are using them to create a warm, inviting atmosphere outdoors in their yard, on a d eck, or patio. Many people love to use fire features on their covered patios, but they don't know how to use them safely. Here are five tips for using a fire feature on a covered patio safely.

Fire features are a great way to add some ambiance and comfort to your covered patio, but they can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. There have been many cases of injuries caused by improperly using fire features. If you want your patio and house to remain safe from accidental fires, make sure that you follow the five tips we've outlined in this article.  

Types of Fire Features 

As with any purchase, you should know what you're buying before you buy it. If you purchase the wrong type of fire feature for your covered patio, it could be hazardous to use under certain conditions. If your fire pit is designed to be used in an open area, then that's where it should be located. Safety should always be your number one priority.

Always research your local fire and building codes for what is allowed on your patio. As well, always consult the user manual and manufacturer recommendations for installation and placement.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits

Never use wood-burning fire pits on a covered patio or deck. Wood fires release highly combustible creosote, embers, and sparks which can cause damage to all kinds of flooring and house structures. Wood-burning fires are much more difficult to contain and regulate, making them too hazardous to use on covered patios. 

Gas Fire Features

In contrast, gas fire features generally don't burn as hot as wood fires and can be controlled and regulated for safe operation. The number one tip for using a fire feature on a covered patio is to make sure it is a gas fire pit, not using any solid fuels.

Location of the Fire Feature

If you purchase a gas-powered fire pit for your covered patio or deck, make sure that you keep it a safe distance away from any walls and windows. Generally, a perimeter of 10 feet around the fire feature to the structure of your home is recommended to keep things controlled and safe. Consult the manufactures' recommendation and user manual for proper placement. 

Overhead Clearance on the Covered Patio

Maybe more critical than the proximity to the housing structure is having adequate ceiling height and clearance above the fire feature. Patio covers can be permanent, framed structures attached to the home or lighter materials like fabric and composites.

Although the gas fire feature is controlled, it still radiates heat, and heat rises. If there is not enough clearance above the fire pit, the patio cover can overheat, melt, and possibly catch on fire.

No matter where you decide to place your fire feature, ensure that it doesn't block an overhead clearance. Maintain at least seven feet of clearance between the top of the fire feature and the patio cover, ceiling, a mounted ceiling fan, or light fixture. 

Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is critical for the safe use of any fire feature. If there isn't adequate ventilation in the covered patio or deck, all of the radiant heat can build up and cause problems if it's not adequately dispersed. 

Covered spaces with plenty of ventilation are safer, keeping the patio cover or ceiling from overheating or melting. When there is little ventilation on a covered patio, then the clearance requirement should be increased.

If you have any obstructions to airflow on your covered patio, whether they're furniture, plants, decorations, or the like, this reduces ventilation even more. Ensure plenty of airflow in the covered patio or deck, especially around your fire feature, to avoid overheating and unsafe conditions.

Types of Flooring of the Patio or Deck

When considering the type of flooring you have and whether it is safe for a fire feature, consider these points:

  • Weight of the fire feature
  • The radiant heat of the fire feature at the base
  • Type of flooring

Concrete patios are ideal for gas fire features because they can easily handle the weight, are not combustible, and won't melt or warp from the heat.  Wood decks can work for gas fire features  if they are structurally sound. Composite decks may require additional support and a heat barrier pad under the fire feature to prevent warping.

Complete Your Covered Patio with Firegear

Using these five tips, you can safely use one of Firegear's fire features on your covered patio. A gas fire feature or fireplace can be the perfect addition on autumn nights with proper location, overhead clearance, adequate ventilation, and a properly structured patio. 

Whether you choose the Kalea Bay outdoor linear fireplace or one of the Sanctuary Series fire features, Firegear is here to help answer questions or find the right accessories to complete your outdoor experience!

For more information about fire pit safety, check out our blog:  How to Keep Your Gas Fire Feature Safe.