A backyard fire pit provides a great place to spend time outdoors, but keeping it in good condition is essential to ensure its safety and longevity. Here are a few key ways to care for your fire pit, from choosing the right location to cleaning and inspecting it regularly. Basic fire pit maintenance helps you enjoy this feature season after season.
Care and Maintenance of a Backyard Fire Pit to Boost Safety
Choosing the Right Location
The best location is away from overhanging trees and structures and in an area with good airflow. A safe site helps prevent the fire from spreading and makes it easier to control. Create a non-flammable buffer zone around the fire pit, at least 10 feet in diameter. Use concrete pavers, sand, or stone to protect your property if firewood falls out of the fire pit.
Fire Pit Safety: Using the Right Fuel
The type of fuel you use in your fire pit matters for both safety and performance. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and hickory are the best fuel for fire pits. They produce a hot, clean burn that is less smoky.
Never Use Gasoline or Other Flammable Liquids
Never use gasoline or other accelerants to start or reignite a fire in your fire pit. These liquids cause fire to get out of control. Instead, use fire starter blocks or kindling to get the fire going.
Keep the Fire Pit Clean
After each use, rake out the ashes from your fire pit and dispose of them properly. Occasionally, clean the fire pit itself with a mild soap and water solution. Cleaning will help to prevent soot build-up and keep your fire pit looking its best.
Covering the Fire Pit
Covering a metal fire bowl or propane fire pit is a good idea when not in use. You will protect it from the elements and prevent debris from accumulating. Purchase a fire pit cover, or use a tarp. If the cover is sensitive to heat, wait until the fire pit has completely cooled before covering it.
Safety and Maintenance: Inspecting the Fire Pit
Inspect your fire pit often for any signs of damage. Look for cracks, rust, holes, or other problems. If you find any damage, repair it immediately. By inspecting the fire pit, you can help to prevent hazardous situations and injury.
Tips for Fire Pit Safety
- If you have a gas fire pit, check the hose for leaks annually.
- Use dry, seasoned wood in a wood-burning fire pit.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Extinguish the fire completely before going inside for the night.
- Be aware of the fire pit’s heat output and keep children and pets away.
A fire pit is an attractive feature in your backyard landscape, but keeping it well-maintained is important to ensure its safety and longevity. Following these tips can help your fire pit last for many years of enjoyment.