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A deck is often a social gathering spot where people congregate to talk, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company. Adding a fire pit as a focal point can really enhance that experience and turn an ordinary deck into a truly magical place. There are many different types of fire pits, and it is important that you take some time to plan yours properly. Depending on your porch, you may need to take serious safety precautions. Here is how to get started.

Step 1: ​Check Your Local Laws and Regulations

The first step is to make sure that you are allowed to own and use a fire pit on your property. You may need to check with your homeowners’ association and your local fire department to make sure that there are no issues. Once you are cleared, you can choose a spot for your fire pit.

Step 2: ​Choose a Safe Spot

As you choose the spot for your fire pit, you need to consider a few important factors. First and foremost, you need to consider the safety. Are there flammable objects nearby? Will flames or sparks reach the roof? Closely examine your surroundings and make changes as needed. Next, consider the aesthetics and functionality of your location. Finally, set up a small flag where you intend to put the fire pit, and monitor it for a few days. Make sure the wind patterns will not blow smoke into an undesirable area, like a neighbor’s window for example.

Step 3: Fireproof the Area

Many decks are made out of wood, so this step is critical. You can go to a hardware store and purchase a fire pit pad, which can withstand temperatures of up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also install a brick, metal, or cement area, depending on your property. Make sure that your deck is strong enough to support any fireproofing materials. As you modify your deck, don’t be afraid to add neat accessories like lights, hand rails, or railings to add to the ambiance. Check online deck specialty stores like Deck Expressions for ideas.

Step 4: ​Choose a Fire Pit

You could make your own fire pit using bricks, rocks, or other materials, but many homeowners prefer to purchase a pre-built fire pit, such as the ones that are sold at Starfire Direct, as they tend to be safer and fit a decorative theme. A gas-fueled fire pit poses less risk than wood burners because they don’t produce sparks, which is ideal for enclosed spaces like a deck. If you do plan on building your own fire pit, make sure you consult an expert if you’re not familiar with proper construction procedures.

Step 5: ​Enjoy Your Fire Pit

If you decided to buy a pre-built fire pit, most of your work is done for you. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to prevent any potentially dangerous errors as you set it up. Even if you are very cautious, accidents can and do happen. Keep a hose, large bucket of water, or a fire extinguisher nearby so you can immediately extinguish any unruly sparks or flames. Always be aware of your surroundings, and make sure you put out the fire as soon as you are done using your fire pit.

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