Having a fire pit is a wonderful way to add comfort in your backyard. But to make sure your cozy gathering place stays that way for the entire family, remember to practice a few basic safety tips.
Constructed of steel, masonry or reinforced concrete, fire pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Find one that suits your space and always be sure to install it away from buildings and overhanging tree branches or other greenery.
Although fire pits are built to sit up on legs or another type of support, you still need to ensure the area around the pit is made of flame resistant materials. A stone patio or concrete slab underneath will work best, although a level dirt surface is fine. If you’re installing the pit on a wood or composite deck, lay a decent sized patio slab between the two for protection.
Sparks are also an issue with open top fire pits. Place the seating a safe distance away from the pit and use a specially made screen if you’re burning wood that tends to spark, like cedar.
Looking for a portable fire experience that can be set up quickly at the cottage, the beach or while camping? Fire rings are the way to go. For optimum safety make sure the ring is assembled properly, especially if it is a portable type. Always install on a level, non-flammable surface (much like the fire pit tip above) and if you’re using a grate to transform the ring into an impromptu grill, check that it is attached securely before adding any weight.
The most important thing to remember about fire rings is to keep the fire within the steel or cast iron ring itself. Don’t try to push past the height or diameter of the ring or you’ll risk ash, burning logs or sparks toppling out.
Keep the seating at a safe distance as well and always wear proper footwear when walking around an area containing a fire ring or pit.
Fire pit tables offer an exotic, upscale focal point in your backyard reminiscent of island and coastal resorts. This style uses wood fuel, but can also be hooked up to propane or natural gas. Be sure that you choose an installation area that’s close to a gas connection and have all lines marked properly. A shut off valve should be clearly displayed.
Be sure that there is adequate clearance above and around the fire pit table. They can be set up underneath overhead features, such as a linai or pergola, but only when the flooring is made of flame resistant material and the roof is high enough. Check with your local building department or the table manufacturer for the required distances.
Similar to pits, bowls are open top structures that can sit on tables, patios or factory built pillars or supports. Be sure to keep the fire within the bowl and get some spark protection when using wood fuel. Bowls can also be hooked up to gas for simple use. You might want to keep the pilot light off during the off season, just to save fuel and extend the life of the ignition system.
Always use the proper materials to start a fire, whether in a pit, ring, table or bowl. Liquid fire starters are generally too powerful for such a small area. Kindling and specially made firestarters are your best bet. Outdora carries the popular Fatwood Firestarters for your safest, easiest method in the backyard or at the campground.
Covering your outdoor appliances is always a good idea to extend the life and cut down on maintenance. Fire pit covers come in a variety of sizes and are often made of lined vinyl to keep the unit protected from inclement weather. It’s also an important safety feature to have the pit, bowl or table covered, eliminating the opportunity for anything (or anybody) to poke around in the pit when not in use.
Keeping logs well organized and stacked in a sturdy structure is also good for safety. You’ll be able to access the fuel quickly and it will have the chance to dry out. Critters and kids won’t be able to climb over a well stacked log pile and you’ll cut down on any waste due to rotting or soaked wood.
Outdora carries all that you need for a comfortable and safe backyard fire pit set up. From the latest style in tables and bowls to all of the accessories you need to keep the area safe and efficient, Outdora has you covered. Create a warm, cozy spot in the backyard that’s worry free and you’ll enjoy memories to last a lifetime.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana Dart was born into the patio design business. Working in her family contracting business for years, she’s now part owner and loves spending her time helping homeowners create an oasis in their backyards. She’s also published countless articles about gardening, curb appeal and landscaping online and in various print publications.