October 15, 2021

Dos and Don’ts of Building a Firepit

Fire pit installation in Smithtown, NY

Table of Contents

Here are many dos and don’ts of building a firepit. Take them into consideration when planning on hosting an outdoor entertainment event.

Ask Local Authorities Before Building a Firepit

Before you get all excited and start planning how to build a custom outdoor fire pit in Long Island, check with your local authorities to see if you need permits. This is important because rules change from one municipality to the next. You do not want to invest in a firepit only to find out later that you have some hoops to jump through before you can use it.

A fire pit is a great way to enjoy time with family and friends! But you must follow some safety guidelines. First of all, you must seek permission from your landlord or property owner. You cannot just go around building fires anywhere without proper consent. Take it from those who own the land in which the area does reside on top of obtaining their signature.

Make certain that not only do they allow for this. But also know during wintertime, no vegetation is present nearby. An unpleasant incident can cause smoke to rise through your roof easily. It will reach inhabitants down below due mostly from wind direction at times.

Consider Accessibility

Build the outdoor wood-burning fire pits away from walls, overhangs, and buildings down below. You do not want any flying sparks or cinders to come about like a chimney. They will catch everything on fire if they land on your roof, beams, and shingles for example. Make sure the spot is open, clean of debris and vegetation. Put it as far off enough to never pose any threat at all.

In addition, see to it that the position is far enough away from any combustibles. Examples are wooden fences, walls, trees, and shrubs. This way, all the elements cannot catch on fire via flying sparks or proximity.

Avoid Positioning in Hazard Zones or Unfavorable Winds

Wind direction influences the chance of fires even in July. Make this the reason why you must consider wind patterns. The place in which people build their fire pit needs a far enough distance. This is from structures in proximity like houses, sheds, and garages for example. If not, look at other locations down below. Any sparks or cinders may catch these buildings on fire.

Another thing to consider is the weather response. Yes, having unfavorable winds means picking another spot. Not only that but also never position your fire pit near a bottom of a hill. The reason is that the wind will pick up and cause problems elsewhere. This is as well as other drawback reasons like smoke and cinders.

Explore Different Build Options

Remember when talking about the dos and don’ts of building a fire pit, explore different build options for the area. You want to make certain that there is nothing underneath it or too close. Also, you do not need materials in its proximity either in case of a mishap.

Having said that, many people opt for concrete, brick, or stone. You can even go with wood or any other combustible for that matter. Just make sure they do not catch fire too easily. Place them far enough away so they cannot get burned if trouble occurs.

Avoid Using Flammable or Non-Porous, Water-Retaining Building Materials

Do not use lumber, rope, untreated wood, leaves, and grass with high moisture content when building your fire pit. It will cause problems if they get too close to the flames. More so, this is as well as having them ignite. You do not want any of these to come about because they pose a huge fire hazard.

By the same token, placing rocks or stones with high moisture content close to a flame outdoors will cause smoking and create unwanted odors. In most cases, you can use stones safely in being heatproof. Otherwise, it is best to opt for another material instead.

Install a Steel Ring in The Fire Pit

You can use a Fire pit steel ring or some other type of the same item. This will hold your wood together as well as make sure that it does not fall apart. In addition, you must place stones around the fire pit for safety purposes. Thus, if an item falls into the pit, it will hit the rocks instead of catching on fire or causing problems.

Consider Fuel Supply Equipment

Very important advice for building a propane fire pit is to make sure you have enough fuel supply equipment. These include lighters, matches, and other utensils. You must ensure that there is nothing nearby or in the area surrounding it for sparks to catch on fire. Even placing many stones around the fire pit will cause problems. This is true in the absence of any fire safety equipment.

Avoid Building a Fire Pit in a Limited Space

It is best to leave open spaces all around the fire pit for more ventilation. This is especially in allowing outdoor fires. Another reason for its importance is because of the breezy conditions outdoors. A nice breeze will come through and reduce smoke or cinders from blowing around. In addition, a lack of ventilation causes the fire to become hotter and smoke more as a result.

After all of this, you can go ahead and build your outdoor fireplace & fire pit. Just remember to have all items needed on hand before doing so. Additionally, be sure to ask an adult for help if this is your first time doing it.

Consider ROI When Weighing Costs

Do not just think about the cost of building a fire pit and how it will affect your wallet. Think about the return on investment you can get from it as well. What this means is that if you spend money on a high-quality product, it will last much longer. Worry less about maintenance and there is no need to buy another one.

In contrast, if you opt for a poor-quality product, it will not last as long. The chances of it breaking down now and then are much higher! This means that you will keep on buying another one from scratch after every breakdown.

Avoid Leaving It Unattended

You must never leave the fire pit unattended for a long period. Even if you think that it is safe enough to do so, place rocks or stones to keep it from what spreading might lack. You should check on your specific model and instructions before going ahead with this. Some might only need a small number of stones to keep it from going around.

Invest in Fire Safety Gear

You need to get your hands on the appropriate fire safety gear. This includes gloves, masks, goggles, and other items. Have a hose nearby. You are ready to act quickly when there is fire! Keep in mind that even small sparks can get dangerous beyond measure!

Safety Tips

Keep the fire pit at a safe distance from homes and structures. Living in an apartment means there are restrictions on building materials. Thus, it is better that you locate it as far away as possible. Keep people and properties out of harm.

Do not build fires during a drought. The risk is much higher, and it can lead to a disaster! Check with national weather forecasts or local authorities on the matter before doing so.

Call 911 immediately when emergency strikes! Do not try to extinguish fires with your effort. Just let professionals handle it instead.


Below are some questions and their responses for your enlightenment.

What do I need to know about building a fire pit?

Have clear dos and don’ts of building a fire pit. The dos are common practices that include:

·      Using charcoal instead of wood

·      Fuel the fire with an item

·      Proper ventilation for it to burn well

·      Seek adult guidance when inexperienced

·      Choosing the right spot with no limitations on space around it

Why did my fire pit explode?

Check the purchase and make sure it is of high quality. Find out the cause of the explosion. Choose a better one instead. Dispose of when made of poor quality. There are no other alternatives.

How do you prepare the ground for a fire pit?

Cover the ground with a thick layer of sand to protect it from the hot surface. You can use wood or stones as well. It depends on the specific model and instructions for this step. 

You do not want to damage your yard. Take care of it with a fire pit heat shield. It is made for grass and portable pits alike.

Fire-resistant mats will provide you with a safe place to enjoy your fire pit! Simply lay them over the ground. Cover with an upside-down potholder or another suitable lid that is chimney style in design. There is no chance of any embers landing on grass.

What is the best base for a fire pit?

An earthenware and metal base is the best option for this. It does not pose a threat to the ground or subject it to heat. Likewise, it does not cause any issues with rusting.

Dig out the area surrounding your fire pit. Cover with landscape fabric to prevent weeds. Fill in any empty spaces between plants and place a crushed stone on top of them for a beautiful ground cover!


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