Safety. If you want total confidence in your DIY gas fire pit or fire table – or if it will be accessible to the public—a CSA-certified burner kit is your only option.
There are some instances when a standard burner kit could be acceptable, but you should understand the big picture before making that decision.
What is a CSA Certification?
The CSA Group (Canadian Standards Association) is a standards organization known for standards development, testing, inspecting, and certification. A CSA certification is accepted in many countries as the gold standard. The CSA seal is also well-respected and accepted in the United States. You can feel confident using any item you buy that bears their seal.
Is a CSA-Certified Burner Kit Better Than a Standard Burner Kit?
Yes. CSA-certified gas fire pit burner kits are required to have certain safety features, and they have been tested for performance and compliance with the standards of both the Canadian and U.S. governments.
This doesn’t mean standard kits may not have been tested for safety, or that they are dangerous to operate. It may just mean that operators of standard fire pits have fewer “fail safes” and owners need to be particularly vigilant when using their fire features.
Individual components cannot be CSA-certified. To get this certification, a complete unit must be tested. (CSA can’t give its approval to only one piece of a total unit when it doesn’t know if that piece will be used in an intended manner, or if it will be installed properly.)
THE CSA GROUP was originally known as the Canadian Engineering Standards Association. It was founded in 1919 to develop standards in Canada for such things as bridges and electrical work.
The Difference Between a CSA Kit and Standard Kit
This chart gives you a quick comparison of the two types of kits.
CSA-certified burner kits cost more because of added safety features and rigorous testing.
When is a CSA-Certified Burner Kit a Must Have?
- Commercial Space. If your gas fire pit will be used in a commercial space such as an outdoor seating area at a restaurant, you must install a unit with CSA certification. This is to ensure the safety of your customers, and it is required by your insurance company and building inspector.
- Rentals. If you’re installing s gas fire pit in a residential rental property, a CSA certification is a “must have”. Renters may not be as cautious and safety-minded as you are, so having the additional safety features a CSA-certified burner provides is a must. This is especially important with short-term rentals, where there is a great deal of guest turnover, and many people are cycling through your property.
- Permit. If your gas fire pit project requires a building permit, the building inspector will require appliances with a CSA certification.
- Licensed Installer. If you’re a licensed installer, you should only install CSA-certified burner kits in your gas fire pit projects. Plumbers, landscape/hardscape business owners, and other contractors who install outdoor gas fire pits should only install CSA burner kits. This ensures that your company is complying with local building codes and giving the customer a fire pit that is safe to operate.
When Is a CSA-Certified Burner Kit not Required?
There are some instances when a standard kit is a suitable choice. For instance, if you’re building a gas fire pit as a DIY project for your home and you are conscientious about safety, you do not necessarily need a CSA-certified kit. (This assumes there are no local ordinances that dictate specifics.)
It is possible to build a quality fire pit that is not CSA-certified, but it will be a simpler type such as a basic, match-lit gas fire pit. Under the right circumstances, this can be a cost-effective way to go.
However, added safety is never a bad idea. That’s why public access areas, insurance companies, and building inspectors require it.
So, if your budget allows, a CSA-certified kit is always a good option and something to seriously consider. A little more money goes a long way toward peace of mind.
Still not sure which type to use? Give us a call, we’ll walk you through it.