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Are Fire Pit Tables Safe? We Answer Common Questions

When shopping for the next centerpiece for your outdoor space, there are a lot of questions surrounding fire tables and fire pits, and with good reason! Use and safety concerns involving fire are important and something smart shoppers need to keep in mind when making an informed purchase. To help out, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about fire tables, all in one place.

General Questions:

What are the best fire tables?

Though there are many different options for fire tables, the best fire tables are those made with durable materials and those that have advanced safety certifications like CSA approval for use during most fire bans. Those safety certifications are a sign of quality.

How much do fire tables cost?

There are fire tables at many different price ranges, but on average a fire table is going to cost between $500 - $900 USD. Fire tables in this price range are likely to be aesthetically pleasing without compromising safety. Fire tables priced higher than $900.00 should either be quite large, or have much of the value contained in aesthetics.

Why are fire pits so expensive?

Fire tables are partially so expensive because of the advanced engineering that goes into every single model. The fire delivery systems that high-quality fire tables use to control flame height and create aesthetically pleasing, but controlled, flames are very technical. Additionally, the durable materials needed to safely handle fire are expensive to produce.

Do fire tables give off heat?

Yes, all fire tables give off some amount of heat, but depending on the fire table the amount of heat can vary wildly. Fire delivery mechanisms control flames to ensure that they burn how you want them to.

How much heat can a fire table provide?

Fire pit tables measure heat in BTU/hr, which is a measure of how much heat the firetable can generate. The higher the BTU/hr is,  the more heat the firetable is able to put out. Generally, 50,000 BTU is equivalent to a comfortable medium sized campfire.  

Our selection

Standard Fire Pit

This lightweight propane fire pit can go with you whenever you need a little warmth. Our original fire pit is easy to set up and simple to use.

Safety questions:

Are fire pit tables safe?

Fire tables are completely safe, even more-so than campfires or other exposed flames. You should always look for a CSA certified fire table made with durable outdoor materials and quality technology. Fire tables certified by CSA have passed stringent safety tests including temperature testing, wind testing and rain testing. Gas fire pits do not emit sparks or embers and it should be noted that CSA certified fire tables are often approved for use during fire bans. Always check with your local fire authority if unsure of your local fire rules. Purchasing a cover and caring for your fire table will ensure it stays protected from the elements, keeping you and your family as safe as possible over the life of the product.

Are gas fire pits dangerous?

Gas fire pits are less dangerous than a standard campfire, but they require caution and respect as they still use fire. A CSA certified gas fire pit is much overall and is a better option for houses with children.

What is the safest fire pit?

The safest fire pits are propane or natural gas fire pits/bowls made with durable and safe materials. Look for fire pits that have CSA approval for the best marker of quality. Often, you can still use CSA approved fire pits during fire bans. Check with your local fire authority if unsure.

Can you put a fire table in a screened porch?

Propane and natural gas fire tables are designed for outdoor use only. Do not use indoors, or in confined spaces. Propane and natural gas fire tables can be safe for use in an open-air or screened-in porch if you follow CSA guidelines for wall clearances and ceiling height clearances. Unlike wood burning fires, gas fires do not give off sparks, or smoke that can build up behind screens, but they do give off carbon monoxide (CO), so they need proper ventilation. This means that you can easily have a gas fire safely on your patio, as long as you have plenty of fresh air coming through.

Can you put a fire table on a deck?

CSA requires that outdoor gas appliances must be placed over non-combustible surfaces and provides guidelines for wall clearances and ceiling height clearances. A CSA certified propane or natural gas fire table that is at least 23-24 inches high and which has two layers of heat shielding under the burner tray to eliminate the possibility of being burned while reaching in the compartment are absolutely safe for use on a deck or balcony, even if the deck or balcony is made of wood. It is important to ensure that the fire table will have an appropriate amount of room on the deck so that guests can move around it, comfortably. Check the appliance manual for CSA guidelines on wall clearances and ceiling height clearances. Never keep loose flammable materials under or around the fire table during operation.

Can I put fire pit on grass?

No. It is always advisable not to operate a fire pit on grass. You do not want to be responsible for starting a wildfire. If you are considering using a propane or natural gas fire pit on grass, follow standard fire safety protocols. Stamp all the grass down within a 10-foot radius, place the fire pit on a non-combustible surface like flat level rocks or ceramic tiles. Keep a fire extinguisher and/or 10-gallon bucket of water close by. Always ensure that your fire pit is raised and that the bottom of the fire pit isn’t directly touching the grass. Additionally, if the fire pit is wood burning, use a fire screen, make sure it is secured in place and watch for sparks and embers falling onto the grass for quick action.

Can you put a fire pit under a pergola?

Unless your pergola is wide and tall enough to achieve safe wall and ceiling clearances, it is best to avoid putting a fire pit under a pergola for safety reasons. If you are considering to put a fire pit or fire table under a pergola a natural gas or propane fire pit would be your best, safest option. Sparks from wood burning fire pits can damage or light pergolas above them, which means that gas fire pits are significantly safer than their wood counterparts. Consider dry foliage and how cross breeze may enable contact with the flame. Always keep required distances from walls and ceilings in mind when selecting the spot to place your fire table.

Can I put a fire pit under a covered patio?

You can absolutely have a natural gas or propane fire pit under a covered patio if the overhead height of the ceiling meets CSA requirements for distance from appliance. This is usually 80 inches. Check your appliance manual for required distances. Wood burning fires produce thick smoke and embers that can become dangerous when contained by a patio roof. Propane or natural gas fires do not give off smoke or embers, making them safer for use under cover.

What do you put under a fire pit under a patio?

The ground or decking under a natural gas or propane fire table should always be flat and level. The best and most fire-stable material options to put under a fire pit are pea gravel, concrete, paving bricks, or porcelain tile.

What is the best base for a fire pit?

If you’re building a fire pit near your home home, brick, concrete or stone materials are the best option to ensure that your fire pit is safe and secure. Gravel made of granite, marble or slate are the best base options as they are hard stones that will absorb heat better than other stones.

fire pit

Cooking questions:

Can you cook on a propane fire table?

Though it can be tempting to use a propane fire table for cooking, it’s not recommended because of the by-products of gas combustion sticking to the food, including black carbon, or soot. In fact, CSA certification standards instruct not to cook food over propane or natural gas fire tables and fire pits as part of their standard certification warnings.

Can you roast marshmallows or s’mores on a propane fire table?

It may sound weird, but cooking anything, including marshmallows, over propane fire tables, or fire pits is not recommended and believe it or not, is actually discouraged by CSA regulations. The actual health reasons are due to carbon and soot from gas combustion. If the kids are going to do it, anyway, try to keep the marshmallows towards the outside edges of the fire pit bowl and away from the yellow flames. This will help to avoid or minimize black carbon or soot buildup on the marshmallow and gives the best chance to achieve the penultimate golden brown. If making s’mores the same principles apply, wrap in tin foil, keep them off to the side and out of the direct yellow flames. If you do intend to roast marshmallows it’s probably better to use a gas fire pit than a fire table simply because dripping marshmallows can damage the aesthetic and expensive fire delivery mechanisms on top of the fire table, not to mention, cleaning marshmallow off glass rocks is next to impossible!

Can you cook on a fire pit table?

You should never cook food on a gas fire table. Cooking food over a gas fire pit is also discouraged by CSA regulations, primarily due to carbon and soot. If you’re in a pinch and looking to cook over a gas fire pit the best option is to use a large flat cast iron pan, or griddle, which will keep the food out of direct contact with the yellow decorative gas flames. The pan will be completely blackened and along with the requisite pine needles you should expect some carbon and soot to land in your eggs. Truthfully, using a dedicated camp stove and avoiding cooking over the gas fire pit altogether is a better option.

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