What Should You Not Burn in a Firepit (2024)

If you're new to owning a fire pit, you're probably looking forward to sitting around those burning flames during the cool nights of the season. The subtle smoky smell wafting through the air as you bask in the warm glow of campfire embers with family and friends will surely be the best part of your day. A firepit is something you can feel good about using night after night. It makes for a more festive evening any time of year and can create a welcoming place for gathering in your backyard.

Although it may seem like a no-brainer to just burn firewood in your brand new Walden Legacy Series Complete Firepit Insert Set, many people tend to throw in other objects and things they have lying around the garage or yard. This is definitely a mistake and potentially a significant safety hazard. Here are some things you should not burn in your firepit.

Some Things to Not Burn in Your Firepit

There are things you don’t want to burn in your firepit. In regards to wood, not all types of firewood are proper to burn. You don’t want to burn treated wood, deck lumber, painted or stained wood planks, shipping palettes, or driftwood. These types of wood have usually been treated with chemicals that can be potentially dangerous and toxic to inhale. Even driftwood has the chance of releasing carcinogenic salt compounds into the air around you and your family. It’s better to go with standard logs specifically cut for backyard bonfires.

Avoid burning trash, like old tires or plastic bags lying around in your firepit. These can release harmful pollutants into the air. Not to mention, they don’t smell that great when you are trying to appreciate the glow of your firepit at a gathering.

Be careful about burning certain types of cardboard. It might seem like a good idea to just pitch it into the fire and let it burn, but sometimes those embers can send particles of ash high into the air that can catch surrounding trees or other objects nearby on fire. That’s a serious danger that you want to avoid at all costs.

Adding too much lighter fluid or gasoline to a firepit is also dangerous. This may seem like a harmless way to build up a fire rather quickly, but this type of fire can easily get uncontrollable and scary. You don't want your neighbors or property to be endangered when you make a fire in your firepit. It’s best to use a simple fire starter, like our Sure-Fire Starters, which are made of natural materials and guaranteed to get your fire going with just one starter.

The Best Materials to Burn in Your Firepit

The best materials to burn in your Walden Legacy Series 30” Firepit Ring are untreated hardwood logs, sticks from your yard as kindling, wood that is local to your area, or firestarter logs that you’ve purchased at a hardware store, specifically for outdoor and fireplace use. You’ll want to ensure that your firewood is properly seasoned for the optimal burn. That way, you’ll be burning the right things in your firepit, knowing all the tips and tricks for best usage. It’s so valuable to have the safest possible scenario to while away the time with those you love using an elegant firepit. Have fun in the many nights ahead, making memories.

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How Big to Burn Your Campfire

The dimensions of the insert on the Walden Legacy Series Firepit Ring are pretty substantial, but that doesn’t mean you should throw things into it that are too big. You’ll want to stay within the parameters of the firepit to ensure a safe and optimal fire. The main piece is a 30-inch diameter ring with a 9-inch height that is extremely durable, made of heavy-duty high-carbon steel. The Fire Ring is pressed, not welded, to help alleviate the risk of any rust, so you’ll surely enjoy the longevity and use you’ll get out of this firepit for countless years. Due to its large size, you still have the potential to make a fairly big fire, so you just have to be careful to burn the right materials in it. And remember to put out your fire completely when done with the Snuffer Lid.

If you have any questions about the proper use of your Walden firepit, give us a call or send us a message today. We are more than happy to make sure you have the best possible experience enjoying your outdoor firepit again and again!

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What Should You Not Burn in a Firepit (2024)

FAQs

What Should You Not Burn in a Firepit? ›

Avoid burning trash, like old tires or plastic bags lying around in your firepit. These can release harmful pollutants into the air. Not to mention, they don't smell that great when you are trying to appreciate the glow of your firepit at a gathering. Be careful about burning certain types of cardboard.

What should you not put in a campfire? ›

How to Maintain & Extinguish Your Campfire
  1. Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. ...
  2. Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily.
  3. Don't burn dangerous things like aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans. ...
  4. Keep your fire to a manageable size.

Is it okay to burn cardboard in a fire pit? ›

Cardboard boxes are not a safe fuel source. According to the USDA Forest Service, the ink printed on cardboard boxes releases chemical fumes into the air when burned.

Is there any wood you shouldn't burn? ›

As far as harmful firewood types, driftwood contains dioxins (from the saltwater), and wood from poisonous trees and vines such as poison sumac and oleander can produce toxic smoke. Brazilian pepper wood is also not good to burn because of the toxic chemicals.

What not to put on a bonfire? ›

Bonfires
  1. Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
  2. Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.
  3. Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire.

What should you never put on a fire? ›

Learn more.
  1. Anything Plastic. Read More.
  2. Accelerants. Read More.
  3. Magazines. Read More.
  4. Wooden Pallets. Read More.
  5. Particleboard. Read More.
  6. Painted Wood. Read More.
  7. Cardboard. Read More.
  8. Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac. Read More.
May 6, 2024

What plants should you not burn? ›

Burning poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, or pretty much anything else with "poison" in the name releases the irritant oil urushiol into the smoke. Breathing it in can cause lung irritation and severe allergic respiratory problems, the Centers for Disease Control state.

What shouldn't you burn in a fire pit? ›

Some Things to Not Burn in Your Firepit

You don't want to burn treated wood, deck lumber, painted or stained wood planks, shipping palettes, or driftwood. These types of wood have usually been treated with chemicals that can be potentially dangerous and toxic to inhale.

What can't you burn in a bonfire? ›

What Can't I Burn? Most materials are illegal to burn outdoors because they emit harmful air pollutants. Plastics, food scraps, treated or painted wood, tires, and most household trash items are illegal to dispose of by burning.

How to tell if firewood is bad? ›

Firewood: Ten hints that your firewood “is not” seasoned
  1. Firewood looks weathered but still looks recently cut.
  2. Pungent smells, of freshly cut wood.
  3. No obvious dry cracking on the butt ends of the wood.
  4. Tree bark still tightly adheres to the wood.
  5. You hear a hissing moisture sound when the wood starts to burn.

What is the best wood for a fire pit? ›

Seasoned wood will burn more efficiently and keep your fire pit clean. Usually, choosing the best wood for fire pits comes down to hardwoods vs softwoods. Due to their density and dryness, we'd recommend using hardwoods, like beech or ash, since they will ignite a low-maintenance fire that can burn for hours.

Can you burn pine wood in a fire pit? ›

While pine is a great and inexpensive choice for fire pits, it is best suited for kindling instead of traditional firewood logs. Pine burns extremely fast, making for a much shorter fire, even with a large stock.

What to do if your neighbor is burning plastic? ›

Basically, you can file a pollution complaint with DEQ, you can report it to the city or county as a code violation, or you can try the cops by calling it in as a nuisance complaint.

When should you not have a bonfire? ›

Never build a bonfire with extremely windy or dry conditions in the forecast.

Can you burn an old sofa? ›

It's tempting to burn old items (especially wooden furniture), but this is another ill-advised move.

How unhealthy is a campfire? ›

Health effects of wood smoke

The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles, also called fine particulate matter or PM2. 5. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they may cause burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses, such as bronchitis.

Should you put rocks around a campfire? ›

Exploding rocks could ruin your campfire if you don't choose wisely when getting set up. Placing firewood in a ring of rocks can be a good way to lessen the risk of starting a wildfire, as well as acting as a barrier for wind that might blow out the early embers, but you need to be very choosy with your selection.

What blocks stop campfire smoke? ›

Campfire smoke particles can partially pass through a block directly above it, but do not pass through blocks more than one block directly above it. Although a trap door is thinner than a slab, a trap door can block the smoke completely, preventing the smoke from floating up.

Is cooking over an open fire bad for you? ›

When you create a campfire from wood or other organic matter, smoke forms; the smoke from wood burning is made from a mixture of gases and fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and lungs, and it can cause burning eyes, a runny nose and even illnesses like bronchitis.

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