Improve Fire Protection Around Your Deck This Fourth of July

Decks set the perfect stage for a fun-filled Fourth of July celebration but, here in the central Texas mid summer heat drought conditions, bar-b-cues and sparklers can all increase the possibility of fire-related accidents.

Fourth of July BBQ

The last thing you want is to deal with some unexpected fireworks. So, we’ve nailed down the most useful fire protection tips that will keep your outdoor space safer this Fourth.

Stop Fires Right When They Spark

You can take precautions to prevent fires, but the most important step to take is making sure you can put a fire out if it does spark up.

Keep an extinguisher within easy reach. However, not all extinguishers are created equal. There are different types of extinguishers for handling various kinds of fires. It’s best to get a multipurpose extinguisher that can handle A, B and C types of fires.

An operable water hose is another tool to keep nearby while you’re cooking outdoors, gathered around a fire pit or playing with sparklers. Go for the fire extinguisher first, but have the hose ready as a backup.

Prevent Fires Before They Happen

Use protectors under grills and fire pits. There are a number of things you can use to protect your deck not only from potential burns but also spills. Sheet metal from an auto store is an inexpensive solution that can also be painted. A large drip pan could also be used for smaller grills. The most fire resistant option is to build a sandbox to sit your grill in.

Use a sealer that reduces flammability. There is no fireproof sealant, however, applying a few coats of a high-quality, fire resistant polyurethane will give your deck a little bit more protection against embers and sparks.

Use decking materials that are more flame resistant. The International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, used by many areas to develop building codes, has found that heavier woods are better to use because they don’t burn as easily. In addition, Fiberon composite decking products were also found to meet the strict fire building codes of California.

Fireproof Your Lighting

Keep all candles contained. Too often people put candles out with just a holder underneath or nothing at all. Set the mood without setting a fire by keeping them in glass containers so that if they get knocked over there’s a decreased chance of lighting something else up.

Keep bulbs covered. Many house fires happen because of bare light bulbs that build up heat. If something flammable rests up against a bare blub (like a flag – see below) there is a possibility that a fire could ignite.

Create a Space That Isn’t Fire Friendly

Cut vegetation back from the deck. If a fire starts in the yard it can quickly spread. Protect your deck by cutting vegetation away from the deck and, if possible, lay down decomposed granite, gravel etc. around the base of the deck rather than letting the grass run right up to it.

Watch where you put your flag. If your flag is mounted lower to the ground grab a hold of the ends and check its full range of motion. Is it possible that it could blow into a grill, up against a light or near a fire pit? If so, raise it up higher or move it to another location.

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