Wood Burning Fire Pits

Fire Pits

A wood burning fire pit is like having a campfire right in your very own backyard. They provide warmth, the crackle of wood and real smoke all while keeping the fire completely contained. There are a variety of different types of wood burning fire pits you should be aware of.

  • Wood Burning Grill: A fire pit that acts as a wood burning grill is specifically used for cooking and grilling. They come with a grill gate that attaches above the flaming embers.
  • Outdoor Fireplace: An outdoor fireplace, whether a portable one or a built-in design, will greatly enhance your patio.  The design is usually similar to an indoor fireplace.
  • Brick or Stone Fire Pit: This is a relatively easy DIY project, and usually cost-effective as well. Brick or stone fire pits can be built by using cinder-blocks, stones, or bricks from almost any local hardware store.

Educational Spotlight: Fire Pits and Safety

The American Society of Landscape Architects state, fire pits or outdoor fireplaces are the number one requested design feature today. They add ambiance to a cool night and it is nice to just sit with friends and talk around a fire. Aside from all the great things about fire pits, you must be sure to use caution and handle with care. It only takes a second for a nice fire to burst into a raging inferno.

Fire pit safety starts with the selection of the right site. The ideal site will be level and at a considerable distance from plants and your home. In fire prone areas surround your fire pit with non-combustible materials like crushed brick or sand. If your fire pit is a kit, the blocks for building will be concrete. You must be careful with these because of the risk of the water molecules stuck in the concrete will get hot and pop increasing the risk of injury. Prevention for this is using fire resistant mortar on the inside of the fire pit with fire bricks.

Using Your Fire Pit

  • Never leave a fire pit unattended.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended near a fire pit.
  • Consider investing in a wire mesh cover to keep embers inside and help prevent children or pets from falling in.
  • Limit the amount of fuel you put in the fire—just put what’s necessary to keep it burning gently.
  • Don’t put garbage or paper products into the fire. They can easily spark and throw off embers or burning remnants.
  • Don’t wear flammable or loose-fit clothing while near the pit.
  • Don’t burn soft woods like pine or cedar. These can “pop” and throw sparks.
  • Even if you follow all of these guidelines, accidents still happen. Keep a container of water and a hose nearby in case of an emergency.

Extinguishing Your Fire Pit

  • Always have a shovel nearby to extinguish any escaped flames and to put out the fire itself.
  • Extinguish with water: drown it and stir it with the shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished.
  • Dispose of the ashes in a safe manner; keep a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Even after 2 or 3 days, ashes can still be hot enough to cause a fire.
  • Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag, cardboard box or anything that is combustible.
Brandon Chatham

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