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Protect your deck or patio from the heat of a fire pit.

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The damage a deck fire can cause and how to keep it from happening

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One October night in 201, fire broke out at 2 am in a quiet neighborhood in Omaha. The family had turned in without completely extinguishing the fire still burning in a fire pit on their wooden deck. Burning coals fell through the rusted bottom of the fire pit and caught the deck on fire. The fire spread quickly, and the whole house was a loss, but the family got out in time.

I was able to find references to a number of deck fires online. I am sure there are many, many more that I did not find.
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Photos from NBC Channel 6, news footage.
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Fortunately, fire fighters got to this deck fire in Santa Barbara before the flames spread to the inside of the house. No one was injured in the fire. The fire was "under investigation" at the time of this report
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Photo Credit: Midhudson News. Three nearby fire departments responded to this fire in Ramapo, NY, after police were called in at 2:10 am. The cause of the fire was "under investigation" at the time of this report.
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Credit: NewsTalk Nfld AM/FM, Newstalk 870. West Richland, WA. "The exact cause of the fire was not given."
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Credit: Connection Newspapers. Fairfax County, VA. The fire was determined to have been started by carelessly discarded "smoking materials." Damage estimate over $200,000
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My very crude illustration on the left shows one reason decks are so vulnerable to spreading fire. Decking boards are always placed with a 1/4" to 3/8" space between them for water drainage. This provides oxygen access and an easy path for flame.
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Photo Credit: Sandy Bourgeois, Breaking Skagit. Skagit County, WA. September, 2020. Sadly this deck fire engulfed the house and took the life of a 9-year-old boy.
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South Gulf County Florida Fire and Rescue web site blog. "Decks and Grills Don't Mix." Seems hot coals fell through the rusted grill.
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There is one thing all of these fires have in common. It seems as if the folks in these houses (or their teenage kids) did not take the danger of fire seriously enough to take common sense precautions.
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