Wooden decks are a popular addition to many properties, providing an inviting outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment. However, it's important to prioritize safety and take steps to fireproof your wooden deck. In addition to childproofing and waterproofing, fireproofing your deck can give you peace of mind and protect your property from potential fire accidents, particularly in wildfire-prone areas. Whether you already have a wooden deck or are planning to install a new one, this guide will provide you with essential tips on how to fireproof your deck effectively.

1. Fireproofing an Existing Wooden Deck

While these tips may not completely eliminate the risk of fire accidents, following them can significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of such incidents. Consider implementing the following preventive measures to enhance the safety of your wooden deck:

1.1 Keep Fire Safety Equipment Handy

One of the most critical steps in fireproofing your wooden deck is ensuring that you have the necessary fire safety equipment readily available. Keep a dedicated fire extinguisher on standby, specifically designed to handle fires on outdoor surfaces. Additionally, ensure that water hoses are accessible near the deck, enabling you to quickly extinguish any potential fire emergencies.

1.2 Remove Combustible Materials

To minimize the risk of fire, it's essential to remove all combustible materials from the vicinity of your wooden deck. Store any items that can serve as potential fire sources away from the deck, including materials beneath the deck and within a five-foot radius around it. By keeping the area clear of flammable materials, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire accidents.

1.3 Practice Extra Precautions with Outdoor Grills

If you have an outdoor grill installed on or near your wooden deck, it's crucial to exercise extra caution. Never leave the grill unattended while in use and ensure that you fully extinguish the fire after cooking. Taking these simple precautions can prevent accidental fires and contribute to the overall fire safety of your deck.

1.4 Install a Non-Combustible Enclosure

Consider installing a non-combustible fiber cement enclosure on the bottom joint of your waterproof deck flooring. This enclosure acts as an additional layer of protection, reducing the risk of fire spreading from the ground to your deck. By effectively sealing off this vulnerable area, you can enhance the fire resistance of your wooden deck.

1.5 Store Flammable Materials Properly

To further minimize the risk of fire accidents, it's crucial to store flammable materials correctly. Avoid storing any flammable substances beneath or on top of your wooden deck. Instead, find a safe storage location away from the deck, ensuring that these materials are kept in a fire-resistant container or cabinet.

1.6 Regularly Clean the Deck

Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for keeping your wooden deck fire-safe. Clean the deck board joints and other areas on and around the deck regularly to remove accumulated debris, such as leaves, pine needles, and easily ignitable materials. By keeping the deck free from such debris, you reduce the potential fuel for a fire and enhance the overall fire resistance of your deck.

1.7 Ensure Proper Ventilation

If you plan to enclose your deck, it's vital to provide sufficient ventilation. Adequate airflow is crucial for fire safety, as it helps prevent the buildup of heat and reduces the risk of fire hazards. Always adhere to local building code requirements and consult professionals to ensure that your deck enclosure meets fire safety standards.

1.8 Repair or Replace Damaged Wood

Regularly inspect your wooden deck for any signs of rotted or damaged wood. These weakened areas can pose a significant fire hazard, as they are more susceptible to ignition and can contribute to the rapid spread of fire. Promptly repair or replace any compromised deck boards and support structures to maintain the fire resistance of your deck.

1.9 Consider Enclosing the Deck

To further enhance the fire safety of your wooden deck, consider enclosing the other side of the deck with vertical or horizontal barriers. These enclosures can act as additional fire barriers, reducing the risk of fire spreading from adjacent areas to your deck. Consult professionals and adhere to fire safety regulations when planning and constructing deck enclosures.

2.0 Use a Lab Tested Fire Retardant Spray

Once your deck has been constructed, there are two options available for fire protection. You can purchase a lab tested fire retardant spray to treat the surface of your deck, or you can switch out certain sections of the wood for a more fire-resistant variety.