What is a CSA Certified Fire Pit?

| January 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

What does CSA stand for?

Mark of CSA Certification

CSA Certification Mark for Canadian Products

When choosing a fire pit, you want to be sure you are not only getting a great deal but also want to be certain that the fire pit is safe, reliable and functions as advertised. Where can you as a consumer turn to for reliable information? One way is to look at the product’s certification mark, a designation that signifies the fire pit as been expertly tested to meet recognized standards for safety or performance. By choosing a CSA certified fire pit, you can be assured it has met all standards required to receive CSA certification.

CSA stands for Canadian Standards Association, an organization founded in 1919. It is a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) which tests and certifies products following standardized test protocols in laboratories across North America. Testing is performed on a wide variety of products including gas fire pits. Upon passing the tests, a gas fire pit is given a certification mark which is placed on the fire pit by the fire pit manufacturer. These marks may only be used on qualified products under license from the NRTL that tested the product and confirmed that it conforms to applicable national, international or other standards for safety and/or performance.

What is the difference between certification and approval?

Gas Product CSA Certification

CSA Certification Mark for Gas Products

The terms certified and approved are often used interchangeably but there are some differences. The main difference between CSA certification and CSA approval lies in whether the testing has been performed to the most recent CSA standards and has been documented using what is called a technical file. Basically, it means that the fire pit you choose that has a CSA certification has had its CSA testing kept up with.

Some gas fire pits may look and function the same but their internal parts have changed over the years. These changes require manufacturers to have their products re-tested, re-certified and re-documented. If the manufacturer chooses not to keep up with CSA certification, the product’s certification becomes outdated and the product is not approved to the newest standards.

Should I choose a fire pit without CSA certification?

Choosing a fire pit without CSA certification generally means the manufacturer has skipped out on the certification process most likely due to the cost. Other reasons include poor manufacturing processes and improper materials which would never get CSA certified anyway.

You can certainly buy a non-certified fire pit but you take your life literally into your own hands. A gas fire pit is not something you want a manufacturer cutting corners on just to save you the consumer a few bucks. Fire or explosion can result if inferior components are used, injuring or even killing you and your guests. What does this say about the manufacturer? It says that they have little regard to the commitment of customer satisfaction and safety. Does a CSA certified fire pit cost more? In general yes, but it is well worth the peace of mind you get from the designation.

Can I use a CSA certified fire pit during a fire ban?

A fire ban means that lighting of wood, briquettes or other materials such as manufactured logs is prohibited. And depending on the severity of the conditions, the ban can include specific fire facilities such as those in campgrounds and day use areas. In most cases, having a CSA certified gas fire pit is a way to “get around” the ban. Not illegally mind you but because certain gas fire pits are considered cooking appliances and if they are CSA certified, they are approved by the Forestry Division and may be used during a  fire ban. Always check with the Forestry Division first if you are unsure. Better safe than sorry.

More Reasons Why CSA Certification is Important

If you have a non CSA certified fire pit in your backyard and it happens to malfunction due to no fault of your own causing damage to your property, your property insurance company may deny your claim. They will say that because the cause of the fire was a faulty part in an uncertified fire pit and that the fault is with the property owner using such a fire pit. Why take the chance?

Another reason to only use a CSA certified fire pit is performance. Gas fire pits are rated at a certain heat output in BTUs. For example, one fire pit may use a 20,000 BTU burner and another a 30,000 BTU burner. The only way to know if the ratings are true is to either test it yourself or by making sure the fire pit has a CSA certification. BTU output is one of the areas tested so you know going in that if you choose the higher rating, you will actually get more heat output.

Buyer Beware

The good news is that there are many CSA certified fire pits to choose from. In fact, nearly all worth considering have the certification. And most jurisdictions require it in order to be sold there. It is also in the manufacturer’s best interest to become certified so they can reach the broadest audience and discriminating consumers like you. Look for the CSA sticker on any fire pit before buying. If you can’t see the designation on the fire pit before purchasing, contact the retailer or manufacturer and ask if the fire pit is CSA certified. Why chance it?

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