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Deck Safety 101: How to Maintain a Safe Wooden Deck

wood-926724_960_720Decks are popular additions to residential homes, creating the perfect outdoor living space. However, homeowners should follow some basic steps to maintain a safe environment on their deck.

Inspect the Handrails

It’s a good idea to inspect your deck’s handrails on a regular basis, making sure they are stable and secure. If a handrail is loose, it may not be able to support a person’s weight, in which case you should avoid using your deck until it’s fixed. Keep in mind that most states and local jurisdictions have strict building codes requiring handrails on all elevated decks.

Protruding Nails

Of course, you should also inspect your deck for protruding nails. If you recently had work done it, perhaps the contractor left behind some nails sticking through. Even if they in otherwise inconspicuous areas, a sharp nail point can cause serious injury.

Rot and Decay

Is there are areas of your deck that are rotten? When wood isn’t properly sealed and treated, moisture may seep into its pores, causing it to decay. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to fix a rotten deck, other than removing and replacing the areas of decayed wood. But if you don’t do it now, the problem will only become worse and eventually jeopardize the structural integrity of your deck.


Something else to consider when inspecting your deck is whether or not it shakes. Conventional wisdom should tell you that decks are NOT supposed to shake. If it does, it’s usually a sign of some underlying structural problem. Problems such as these should be fixed ASAP to reduce the risk of injury, as it a shaky deck could collapse when stressed by normal usage.

Are Fire Pits Safe to Use on a Wooden Deck?

This is a question that many homeowners ask, fearing a fire pit could ignite or otherwise damage their deck. The short answer is yes, you can safely place and use a fire pit on a wooden deck, assuming there’s some type of barrier between it and the deck. While the burning point of wood is around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the bottom of a fire pit shouldn’t come close to reaching this point. However, it’s still best to err on the side of caution by placing your fire pin on either a flame-retardant mat or pavers first.

If you have any questions regarding how an S&S Fire Pit can enhance your outdoor living space; We can help.