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Are Propane Fire Tables Safe?

By UJJBARAN October 19, 2021

Safety First

Safety should be one of your top priorities when installing a fire feature. With that in mind, here are some quick answers to some common fire pit and fire table safety questions we receive.

Are Propane Fire Tables Safe?

Absolutely. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

We’re often asked if propane fire tables are safe to use in certain applications. It’s a fair question given the nature of propane gas. Since it’s heavier than air, the risk of pooling is a possibility. Fortunately, many propane fire tables are safety certified to ensure they meet national standards.

When installing your fire table, make sure all gas connections are leak tested. You also want to ensure all manufacturer specifications regarding safe clearance and operation are followed properly. Doing this will help ensure you, your family and your friends can all enjoy your fire table safely.

As an added safety precaution, more and more fire tables are including a flame sensor, as well. This feature allows the fire table to automatically shut off the gas in the event flames are extinguished. This extra feature prevents gas from pooling, which could present a potentially dangerous situation in an area with poor ventilation.

Are Gas Fire Pits Safer than Wood?

Yes. Gas fire pits are often much safer than wood.

Almost everyone has been near a classic wood campfire at some point in their life, so it’s easy to recall the warmth, the smoky smell and the crackling logs. This also makes it easy to understand why a wood fire can be dangerous if not properly contained.

Gas fire pits do not emit sparks or smoke the same way a traditional wood fire does. For these reasons, they’re often safer from both a fire hazard and health standpoint. While the previously noted risk of pooling gas may be a concern, this can easily be avoided with proper installation and maintenance. Since gas fire pits also burn at a lower temperature, additional safety accessories like glass wind guards are also available for use. These are an especially great option for those with animals and small children.

How Much Heat Does a Gas Fire Table Produce?

A typical gas fire table emits anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 BTU. While these fire features put off less heat than a wood fire, you’ll still be able to make your outdoor entertaining space cozier with the right fire feature.

Gas fire tables are typically capped at this capacity to meet safety certifications or to make the units more compatible with 20-pound propane tanks. While these won’t warm you to the bone on a frigid night the same way a wood bonfire can, the trade-off is enhanced safety with impressive ambiance.

Is It Safe to Have a Propane Fire Pit on a Wood Deck?

Most pre-made propane fire pits and fire tables are safe to use on a composite or wood deck. Unlike wood fires, there are no sparks thrown from a gas fire pit, so the risk of unintentional ignition is much lower.

If you’re building your own gas fire pit, there may be additional steps you’ll want to take to ensure safety. One of the most common additions would be something like the addition of a deck insulation kit. Always be sure to reference your local gas and fire codes beforehand, as well.

Can You Cook on a Fire Table?

It’s not advisable to cook on your gas fire table. Gas fire tables are considered to be decorative gas appliances. You can roast marshmallows, but be careful not to drop any. Food residue can fall onto the burners, clog burner ports and negatively affect performance. Should this happen, you’ll likely need to remove all media to clean the burners.

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