How to use a fire pit in a garden or backyard: Easy Steps

Fire pits are often used outside to get warm during winter or to make things cozy. Sometimes fire pits have a cooking grid as well. They use wood, natural gas or propane as fuel. They can become very hot so it is important that you add a suitable cover or guards. They are often made out of metal with a bronze finish so that pits can withstand the heat. If you clean them often and take care of them, they can last a long time. 


There are two types of fire pits:

– Open pit: This means that the fire is visible 

– Closed pit: The wood is in a container that hold it up off the ground and away from the flame.

They come in sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are tiny whereas others are huge. 

How to install the pit:

This depends on the type of fuel that you are using. 

For natural gas

A plumber will typically run a natural gas line to your fire pit. Check your local code to make sure that everything is compliant. Often it will be needed to add a fireproof metal cover over the line so that it is protected. Natural gas has a specific smell so it should be possible to detect leaks quite early. The plumber should test the line before it is being used. This makes it harder to move the fire pit. If you want to move it around a lot, you should look into propane or wood as fuel. The advantage of natural gas is that you won’t run out of it as the city supplies it. It is also part of the invoice for your general heating.

Natural gas fire pits are easy to turn on and off without too much hassle. They also require less cleaning than wood. They might be slightly more expensive but should be quite durable as well.

It is important that you use connectors that have been designed for gas. You can get similar ones that are being used for water but they are not able to withstand the gas for a long time so make sure that you get properly certified parts. Flexible lines are not that sturdy so they should only be used inside the pit (if the manufacturer allows this). Often you can connect parts by turning them.

For propane

Propane is quite similar to natural gas but comes in a tank. These tanks are quite heavy and you have to monitor how full they are if you don’t want to run out. There is often a gauge on the tank to see how much is left. Most people have several spare tanks to make sure that they have enough propane gas. These need to be stored safely. This fuel is affordable and easy to use. Fire pits that run on propane are often bigger as they need space to store the tank. 

For wood

You can place the fire pit anywhere. This is great if you have a big garden. Just make sure that the area around it is clean. Preferably there are stones around it so that you can extinguish the fire if it topples or some sparks fly out of it. These fire pits can be quite small and are more versatile and flexible than tanks that use propane or natural gas.

Wooden fire pits are often cheaper but can be harder to maintain as the wood creates a lot of ashes. You also need a place to store the wood as it has to remain dry. Don’t buy cheap wood as this won’t burn as well. Not every type of wood can be used some trees produce wood that is not burning properly.

It is also quite easy to build this type of fireplace yourself. They can be cheap as well if you use the correct materials. You can save a lot of money by doing this yourself.

How to light or start a fire pit

For natural gas and propane

When you light a fire pit, it is always important that you wear protective gear. This includes glasses and fireproof clothes. Be patient and don’t use flammable liquids nearby the pit. Read the manual of your specific firepit as this can contain other instructions.

First, check if there are any leaks. This can be a visual inspection but you can smell the gas as well when it is leaking. 

Once you are certain that there is no leak, you can open the gas valve. You don’t have to open it up completely as it is possible to open it further later on. The next step is to use a lighter. It is best to get one with a long neck so that you are far away from the ignition. More expensive systems have a built-in lighter and this is safer. Often you have to push two buttons. Start with one and then you push the second. This pushes two parts together that create a spark.

 Be patient when it doesn’t work out at first and check the fire pit. If it is dirty, it is possible that the gas can’t flow and that there won’t be an ignition.  Once the flame is lit, you can open up the valve more to make the fire bigger. 

To turn off the fire, simply turn the gas valve down. Do this gradually so that the gas has time to burn. The fire pit can still be hot for a long time so don’t touch it or throw water on it. Always place a fireproof cover over it so that other people won’t inadvertently touch it.

For wood

Clean the fire pit before you start. You can add big wooden blocks to it and some firestarters. Check the direction of the wind to make sure that your fire pit is located in the right location. A heavy wind can make it harder to start the fire. You can stack it in a square and start a fire in the middle. Other people prefer to build a tipi with the wood and let it burn this way. You can experiment with different approaches and see what works for you. Just add enough wood so that the fire can sustain. Having to add wood all the time can be annoying. 

  Be patient and don’t pour liquids on it.  Stir the wood with a pokestick and add wood as needed. 

Maintaining a Fire Pits

Cleaning a fire pit is very important. You want to make sure it stays clean and ready for use. You can often use a metal brush to clean it. Some brushes can be placed on screwdrivers to automate this process and make it easier to clean. It’s best to keep the area around the fire pit clear of debris and leaves, as these can easily catch on fire.  Don’t use cleaning products that have alcohol or use flammable materials.

You will also want to periodically brush away any ashes from your cover so that it doesn’t accumulate too much and become a hazard. You should give your cover a good shake every now and then just in case there are any embers inside before you use it again. And remember to dispose of ashes responsibly and far away from any structures or trees near your home!

What to do with fire pit ashes

Firepit ashes can build up over time. It is necessary to clean it as it can spread in your garden. Make sure that it is cooled down before you handle it. People often underestimate how long these ashes can stay hot. This can take a few days as heat can smelter inside it. Once you are sure that it is cooled down, you can use a shovel and fill a plastic bag. Make sure to wear goggles and gloves when you do this. You can often throw it in your regular trash (check your local rules though!).

You can often use the ashes in your garden as well. They are excellent fertilizers. This depends on what you burned in your fire pit though. People are experimenting with new fuels such as coconut shells and so on and these might be less applicable for this purpose. You should check the pH level of your soil to see if it is needed to add fire pit ashes.

It can also be used in compost as it will mix with the other materials in the compost bin and result in a faster compost process. The ashes should be cooled down before you add them as they can destroy your tank if it is made out of plastic.

Some people even use it as cat litter as it neutralizes odors. For the same reason, it can be used in an outside toilet that doesn’t use water to flush (pit toilet) as an alternative to sawdust.

It can help with odor control in your house as well.

To conclude, we can say that firepits can be very cozy. It is important that you follow the safety recommendations of the manufacturer and clean it from time to time. You also have to think about the location of the firepit. It should be out of the wind and away from materials that can burn easily. All these tips will make sure that you can enjoy using your firepit for a long period of time.

Picking the right stones and gravel around the fire pit can greatly improve the comfort of your garden.