Is it better to have a CSA-certified fire pit or a UL-listed fire pit?
There is no difference in terms of safety. Either designation provides you with peace of mind that the item you have is safe to use.
In fact, regulating bodies in the United States and Canada worked together to develop a harmonized standard for testing—CSA 2.41-2014/ANSI Z21.97-2014 Outdoor Decorative Appliances. As long as the product meets this standard, you can have confidence in using it.
What do the CSA and UL marks mean?
CSA stands for the Canadian Standards Association, and this organization now goes by the name, The CSA Group. Underwriter Laboratories (UL) is a United States company. When you see these marks, you know that these gas fire pit products have been rigorously tested by authorized testing laboratories to ensure the product meets the standard.
UL uses different marks for different types of products that have met the standard for their particular category. The “UL Listed” designation is used for products such as heating appliances, which includes gas fire pits.
Do I have to buy certified products?
Yes and no. Yes, if you want to be sure you have the safest equipment available you should purchase a CSA certified burner kit. And yes, some instances require the use of such items. For instance, an insurance company may not cover claims if non-certified equipment was in use.
In addition, certified kits must be used anywhere there is public exposure such as a restaurant, or a rental property including private homes that are sometimes rented out through a company such as Airbnb.
The answer is no, if the fire pit is for personal use only and you don’t live in an area where local rules apply. But keep in mind, gas is highly combustible so the use of questionable equipment could be potentially dangerous.
CSA and UL Listed Are Equivalent Marks
In regard to gas fire pits, certification from either The CSA Group or UL is basically the same thing. They are using the same standards for testing, and both are considered the gold standard in their respective countries.