Fire Pits - A User's Guide

Summer's approaching fast, so you know what that means - long evenings around the fire pit with your friends and family! Whether you're an experienced fire pit user or have just bought your first fire pit, our comprehensive users guide will tell you everything you need to know, to get the most from your fire pit! 

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Fire Pit Safety

Fire pits are great - but burns aren't! To make sure your fun isn't spoiled, always remember to be careful when using a fire pit. As well as the naked flames, the body of your fire pit will grow very hot, and will remain so, even after the fire has gone out. To avoid injury or damage, simply use a bit of common sense and remember to:

  • Always use protective gloves when refuelling the fire pit.
  • How far should a fire pit be from a house? Position the fire pit on an even surface, at least 3 metres away from any buildings, fences or trees.
  • Do not use toxic products (e.g. petrol, lighter fluid) to light a fire pit, and do not burn waste or any toxic products in your fire pit.
  • Do not light your fire pit in windy conditions. Always check the wind direction before lighting your fire pit.
  • Make sure that children are supervised when around the fire pit.
  • Never leave the fire pit unattended. Ensure that the flames are not allowed to get out of control.
  • Always keep a box of sand, or a spray hose nearby in case you need to extinguish the fire pit.
  • Never move a fire pit whilst lit.

How To Light A Fire Pit - A Step-By-Step Guide

Lighting a fire pit is super easy. If you follow this quick and simple step-by-step-guide you will soon be experiencing the warmth and glow of those flames as they dance in the summer evening air. You will need:

For best results, always light your fire pit about 1 hour before your guests arrive. Fire pits tend to produce the most smoke during this time, until you have built up a nice hot bed of embers for the fire, so allow enough time for your fire to really get going. A good bed of embers will allow you to build a good fire in your firepit. Read on for the best way to start a fire in a fire pit...

Step 1

Begin by building a small jenga tower out of the kindling, at the base of your fire pit. Position the kindlers around the drain cover (a disk that is at the bottom of most fire pits). Unlike a stove, you don't need to make this tower too tall, as there's no flue to preheat. Three or four storeys of kindlers should be adequate.

Step 2

Place a natural firelighter in the middle of the jenga tower, so that it sits within the tower. Using a natural firelighter is best, as they are odourless. This means that they will not affect the flavour of any food you may want to cook on the fire pit. We highly recommend these natural waxling firelighters.

Step 3

How To Stack Wood In Fire Pit. Place a number of small, kiln dried logs around the kindling jenga tower, bark-side down. Place the logs against the kindling, as if building a pyramid or tee-pee out of the logs.

Remember to leave some space between the logs however, to allow plenty of air to get to the kindling and firelighter, and to avoid the fire getting smothered. Using smaller logs to begin with will enable the fire to take quicker, and help you to build up a good base of embers onto which your fire will thrive. 

It's also important to put the bark side towards the inside of the pyramid, as this will catch quicker, and allow you to build a good fire in your fire pit.

Step 4

Light the firelighter and let the kindling and logs catch fire. If you feel that the fire is struggling to take, simply add some more kindling to the fire. In order for the logs to catch fire quicker, you want to make sure that you get the fire nice and hot, so make sure you are using small logs to begin with.

Once you have got your fire going, you can begin to feed it larger logs. Always use either kiln dried logs or logs that have been seasoned for at least two years. This will ensure that you get maximum heat and minimum smoke from your fire pit. 

How To Put Out A Fire Pit

You should never leave a fire pit to go out by itself. As always, it is best to plan ahead - if you know that you'll likely be going back indoors at a certain time, make a point of not refuelling the fire pit for about half an hour before this. If you are heading back indoors for the night, and it has not yet gone out yet, there are a couple of simple ways to safely put out a fire pit.

Method 1 - Water

The first way to put a fire pit out is using water. However, you should never pour a bucket of water straight onto a lit fire pit. This will spread hot ash and embers, and will also release a lot of hot steam which can cause burns.

Instead, to safely extinguish a fire pits using water, use a garden hose, set to a sprinkle setting to lightly spray water over the embers until fully extinguished. If you don't have a garden hose, use a watering can to produce the same result. Stir the ash with an ash rake or poker, and ensure that the ashes are soaked and cooled all the way through.

Whilst using water is a quick way to douse your fire pit, it is not the best option for maintaining the condition of your fire pit. The sudden change in temperature, from very hot to very cold, can weaken the metal of the fire pit, shortening your fire pit's lifespan. It can also cause cracking of the body of the fire pit in some instances.

Method 2 - Sand or Dirt

Alternatively, you can use sand or dirt to douse a fire pits. Again, you want to avoid dumping a great load of sand all at once, opting instead to sprinkle the sand or dirt over the fire pits using a small trowel or shovel, until it is fully extinguished.

How To Care For Your Fire Pit

Fire pits require minimal maintenance, and can be left outside all year long. Although the fire pit may have a black finish to begin with, this will soon rust, as it is exposed to fire, water and wind. This is completely natural, and is nothing to worry about. Do be aware however, that this rust can leak from the legs of the fire pit onto any hard surfaces, such as a patio, and leave a mark, so bear this in mind when positioning your fire pit. To help preserve your fire pit, we recommend oiling it at least once a year, with a product like WD40. This will help extend the lifespan of your fire pit.

Most good quality fire pits are now built with a drain at the bottom of the fire pit to avoid water collecting in it. Throughout the autumn and winter, ensure that this does not get blocked by leaves or other garden debris, and that any water is allowed to run out freely. If your fire pit does not have a drain, simply use a cover, or turn it upside down when not in use. Once winter comes and you are no longer using your fire pit, we would recommend covering your fire pit, or storing it in your garage, to prolong its lifespan.

Warmth and Friendship

And there you have it! You are now all set for a fantastic evening around the fire pit! So get your friends round, crack open a couple of beers, and enjoy the glow of an open fire pit! Whether you're reminiscing about old times, or making new memories, let your fire pit light and warm the way...

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