Getting the Most out of Your Backyard Fire Pit
Fire pits bring a little warmth and a lot of style to any backyard landscape. If you’ve been thinking of having one added to your property, Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps has a few tips on getting years of enjoyment out of it.
Placement of your fire pit
This is an important decision. Because fire pits involve open gas or wood flames, you want to make sure you designate a safe area for yours.
Whether you have a permanent or portable fire pit, avoid placing it near all of the following:
- Your house/garage/outbuildings
- Overhanging roofs/awnings
- Fencing material, especially wood
- Tree limbs
- Areas where combustibles are stored
Pre-built or custom-made?
You can buy ready-to-install “generic” fire pits that come in several different shapes, sizes and designs. You also can have a fire pit built completely from scratch by a contractor or specialist in this kind of work.
In many cases, a custom fire pit is best because it allows you to specify exact materials, styles, sizes and other particulars.
Check with local fire and zoning codes
Before running out and buying a fire pit or having one built, make sure this type of appliance is lawful on your property. Your local city hall or county offices should be able to guide you.
Wood or gas?
Another important consideration is what fuel your fire pit will use. You can go with natural gas or propane, which produces beautiful fires and is easy to turn on and off.
If you’re a traditionalist, nothing beats a roaring wood fire. But keep in mind that you’ll have to buy and store the wood logs, and wood fires don’t start and go out with a flip of a switch.
Additional backyard amenities
A fire pit is a lovely appliance for your backyard, but what else do you want to add to go along with it? You may want to set up some comfortable chairs and tables around the pit. Even a small refrigerator, wood fired grill or wet bar might be appropriate to make eating and drinking more convenient.
Lighting is another consideration. While the fire pit’s flames will provide some light, you may want better illumination. Make sure whatever kind of lighting you choose is installed at a safe distance from the fire.
Teaching all household members about fire pit safety
Everyone who lives in your house should know these fire pit safety tips:
- Never use gas, lighter fluid, charcoal starter or other accelerants to start fires – you could cause a serious flare-up or explosion to occur
- Children and pets should remain at least three to four feet from an active fire pit (you can train your kids; pets will need to be dealt with accordingly)
- Use hardwoods such as oak, maple and hickory, which produce fewer sparks than pine, juniper and other softwoods.
- Don’t burn pressed board, cardboard, magazines, furniture, plastics or anything else except firewood in your fire pit
- Don’t use the fire pit during times of heavy winds
- A fire extinguisher must be kept within easy reach, and all family members (except small children) should know how to use it prior to fire pit use.
Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps of Frederick, MD, builds many unique and gorgeous fire pits for our Maryland customers. Give us a call and tell us what you want in a custom fire pit, and we’ll make it happen. Speak with an expert today at (301) 695-6991.