Fire it Up! 6 Quick Tips for Setting Up a Safe and Effective Fire Pit
So you want to set up a fire pit? Can’t say I blame you. With summer just around the corner, a good fire pit can be the focal point of your backyard, giving you and your guests a welcoming and rustic place to unwind between now and the winter months.
While setting up a fire pit isn’t extremely difficult, building one that’s safe can be tricky, so we’ve listed six tips for building a super safe and effective fire pit for your yard.
1. Know the laws. Many states and localities require that you set up your fire pit at least 10 feet away from neighbors and combustible structures, such as low-hanging tree branches, gas lines, and buildings with wood fixtures. Check with your locality and insurance agency to get the low down on any applicable codes and regulations before you set up your fire pit.
2. Always measure. Fire pits normally vary between 3 and 4 feet in diameter, while the depth is typically around 3-6 inches, suitable for about five people. If you want to cater to a larger crowd, a six-foot diameter will get the job done. Whatever you do, always measure to ensure proper size and safe distances from combustible objects.
3. Remember, wood burns. If you’re setting up a fire bowl or a chiminea, never set it up on a wood deck, as stray embers can turn your deck into a blazing inferno in a flash. When setting up a chiminea or a portable fire place, always set up on a concrete, gravel, or slate surface.
4. Avoid windy conditions and flammable clothing. Loose clothes, especially those made primarily of cotton or silk can catch fire in a heartbeat, especially in windy conditions. Before you light your fire pit, check your weather forecast to be sure that you aren’t burning on an exceptionally windy night.
5. Ensure proper airflow. Providing proper air flow is absolutely crucial when it comes to setting up your fire pit, especially if your fire pit is enclosed within an above-ground wall. When building the base of your wall, be sure to leave a 1-2” gap every two feet between bricks, in order to provide plenty of oxygen for the flames.
Additionally, improperly stacking your logs can restrict air flow and make it incredibly difficult to start and maintain a fire. When stacking logs, start with small pieces of tinder at the center and stack dry logs loosely on top, leaving ample space for flames and oxygen to permeate the stack.
Stacking your logs correctly can be an awfully frustrating experience, but with the FIREase IncinerGrate, building a robust, crackling fire is a breeze. This vertical fire pit grate maximizes air flow throughout the fire pit, allowing a lightning-quick start and long-lasting burn. The IncinerGrate is made in the U.S. with high-quality welded steel, and is specially designed to limit smoke and help logs burn completely. It’s super durable and easy to transport, great for starting up a fire wherever you roam.
6. Got water? Be sure to set up your fire pit close to a readily accessible water source in case things get iffy. When extinguishing any out-of-control flames, always aim at the base of the fire.