Wood Burning Fire Pit Dos and Don'ts (2024)

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Wood Burning Fire Pit Dos and Don'ts (2)

When using a wood-burning fire pit, it's essential to follow some basic dos and don'ts to ensure safety and maximize your enjoyment. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:

The Dos of Fire Pits:

  1. Read and follow all provided instructions and safety guidelines for your specific fire pit, especially during installation. They're included for a reason!
  2. Choose a safe location and style for your fire pit. It should be placed on a non-combustible surface, away from flammable materials, buildings, trees, and overhanging branches. Elevated fire pits with lids are safe because they can be easily enclosed.
  3. Clear the area around the fire pit, as well as within the fire pit, of any debris, dry leaves, or other flammable materials.
  4. Safety first! Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water nearby for emergencies. A closed system with snuffer lid is a great option for peace of mind.

  5. Selectdry and seasoned firewood to minimize excessive smoke and sparks.
  6. Anall-natural, easy-to-light fire starteris thesimplest and safest way to get your fire started.Start the fire with small amounts of kindling or newspaper, gradually adding larger pieces of wood.
  7. Monitor the fire at all times and keep children and pets from wandering too close to the fire pit.
  8. Consider usinga screen or spark guard to prevent sparks from flying out of the fire pit, especially during windy conditions.
  9. Extinguish the fire completely before leaving the fire pit unattended or going to bed. One easy and fool-proof way to put the fire out is to completely cover the fire pit with a snuffer lid to ensure nooxygen can fuel the embers. Otherwise,pour water over the embers and stir the ashesto completely extinguish the flames.

Wood Burning Fire Pit Dos and Don'ts (4)

The Don'ts of Fire Pits:

  1. Don't place a wood burning fire pit on a wooden deck or any flammable surface.
  2. Don't leave the fire unattended, especially when there are children or pets around.
  3. Don't use flammable liquids, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, to start or revive a fire. Instead, use along poker tool like a Stoker Poker®to reposition or revive the logs.
  4. Don't overload the fire pit with too much wood or burn garbage, treated wood, or other materials that can produce toxic fumes.
  5. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing thatmay more easily catch fire.
  6. Don't position the fire pit too close to structures, overhanging trees, or low-hanging branches.
  7. Don't dispose of ashes immediately after extinguishing the fire. Let them cool completely before properly discarding them in a metal container or putting them to usein your garden or yard.
  8. Don't leave the fire pit burning overnight or when you're leaving the area.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can safely enjoy the warmth and ambiance of your fire pit while minimizing the risk of accidents or damage. Always prioritize safety and exercise caution when using a fire pit, and definitely doremember to enjoy your time fireside.

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Wood Burning Fire Pit Dos and Don'ts (2024)


Wood Burning Fire Pit Dos and Don'ts? ›

Don't overload the fire pit with too much wood or burn garbage, treated wood, or other materials that can produce toxic fumes. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing that may more easily catch fire. Don't position the fire pit too close to structures, overhanging trees, or low-hanging branches.

What should I put in the bottom of my wood burning fire pit? ›

In conclusion, choosing the material to place at the bottom of a fire pit requires considering ventilation, heat resistance, and protective properties. Materials such as sand, fire bricks, or slabs are excellent choices that can improve burning efficiency, extend lifespan, and ensure safety.

What are the cons of a wood burning fire pit? ›

Wood fire pits are harder to maintain because they hold the soot, ash, and logs. This will need to be shoveled out from time to time.

What is the etiquette for a fire pit? ›

Ideally, a fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structures — 20 feet is even better. This includes your house, shed, fence and neighboring yards. Check the area around and above your fire pit. You don't want any plants within 10 feet of the fire pit area.

What wood should you not burn in a fire pit? ›

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 is the best base for a wood burning fire pit? ›

The best materials to put in the bottom of your fire pit are gravel, paver base or fire bricks.

Should I put anything in the bottom of my fire pit? ›

Placing a layer of sand or gravel at the bottom of a fire pit can help with heat distribution and protect the base from extreme temperatures. It also makes cleaning up ash easier.

Where should you not put a fire pit? ›

Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches. A 21-foot clearance is standard for most municipalities. Don't put your fire pit too close to your property line. The minimum distance between the fire and property line varies from county to county, so be sure to check your local guidelines.

Are fire pits bad for your health? ›

The fine particulate matter component of wood smoke also represents a risk for cardiovascular disease, including arrhythmias, heart attacks and strokes.”

Can you burn rotten wood in fire pit? ›

Mouldy or rotten wood

If you spot a yellow or green patch on your wood, this is mould and burning it will release various pollutants that will float around in your room. If you burn rotten wood, it will be less dense and therefore will not burn as well.

Is it OK to pour water on a fire pit? ›

Heat from the fire will turn the water to scalding hot steam that can burn you or anyone else nearby. As you pour water on the flames, you may hear sputtering or sizzling sounds.

Should you leave a fire pit burning overnight? ›

A common question regarding putting out a fire in a fire pit is if you can just leave the fire burning overnight and allow it to burn out on its own. This would definitely be an easier option, but it is also very risky and dangerous. Even a tiny ember can cause a backyard fire, especially during dry conditions.

What to put around a fire pit? ›

Putting gravel on the ground around your fire pit creates a nice, level base for seating. Plus, it protects the ground and surrounding area with a non-flammable material in case any embers make their way out of the fire pit.

Can I burn paper in my fire pit? ›

While plain, untreated paper is generally safe to burn, avoid burning glossy or coloured paper, as they may contain chemicals that produce harmful fumes when burned. Don't Overload the Fire Pit: Place paper materials in small, manageable quantities in your fire pit.

What's the worst wood to burn? ›

The Worst Types of Wood to Burn
  • Chestnut.
  • Douglas Fir.
  • Elder.
  • Elm.
  • Laburnum.
  • Larch.
  • Laurel.
  • Poplar.
Oct 12, 2021

What is the cleanest wood for a fire pit? ›

Hardwood (such as oak, maple, or birch) burns slower, cleaner, and produces a longer-lasting fire. Softwood (pine or cedar) ignites quickly and produces a vibrant flame. We recommend softwoods for kindling and hardwoods for the bulk of your fire's fuel.

Do you need to put sand in the bottom of a fire pit? ›

If you're wondering why you should put sand in the bottom of your fire pit, you'll be glad to know that the answer is straightforward to grasp. This is to protect the metal of the fire pit from the heat of the fire. You know the fire can get really hot and some parts might end up being more alluring than others.

What do you put under an outdoor fire pit? ›

Using paver sand under a fire pit helps to level the ground and provide some stability for the bricks. I added about 1.5 inches to 2 inches of paver sand, water to make it more compact and then tampered it. You can't tamper more than about 2 inches at a time.

Does a fire pit need a liner? ›

Whether you choose a natural stone fire pit or even one made with manufactured materials, a liner will add an element of safety and security.


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