Fire pits are brilliant when placed in your garden or outdoor space. They give warmth, comfort and look great when lit, improving your garden's aesthetics. You can make many memories with families and friends relaxing around the flames of a fire pit.
However, buying and installing the fire pit in your desired spot is just one part of it; you still have to learn how to light it up before enjoying it. Learning how to light a fire pit isn't as difficult as many might have made it seem.
Check below to learn how to light a fire pit most efficiently and safely. However, just like anything fire-related, we have to talk about safety first.
Safety in Lighting a Fire Pit
If you stick to these rules, you can prevent damages and keep a safe environment when using your fire pit.
- Avoid building fires when it is windy.
- Prepare your fire on an even horizontal surface to prevent it from escaping/falling over.
- Avoid the use of propellants and other toxic or dangerous products
- Always keep an eye out on the fire you set regardless of the size of the flame
- Make sure to set the fire at least 10 feet from any home, structure, tree or fence.
- Keep a safe distance away from the fire and keep watch of any pets or children that may be around.
Steps to Light a Fire Pit
Follow the below steps to light a fire pit
The first thing you would typically do is pick out a safe location to start your fire, keeping with all the guidelines as explained above. Next is to gather the supplies you will need to start up the fire:
Fire Starter: You can select many types, the most common ones being matches and kitchen lighters. Or if you, by chance, have a butane torch lighter, that is easier to use and far more effective.
Tinder: This builds up your fire and includes pines cones, tree bark, leaves and newspaper. You can use almost any dry and non-toxic material to start your fire. There are also many homemade tinder options you can find online that will do a decent job.
Kindling: To keep your fire burning, kindling is dry sticks that keep burning to keep your firewood active. The most effective twigs and sticks to use are softwoods like spruce, pine, poplar and cedar.
Firewood: Logs keep your fire burning, and the best types of firewood to use are hardwoods, including oak, birch, maple and ash. It is important to season them properly and stack them before using them to start the fire. Split up the wood so it will burn easier and for a longer time than round logs.
Starting the Fire
Our steps will teach you how to start a fire in a fire pit without lighter fluid or other harmful chemicals. Follow the steps below:
- Start laying the fire beginning with the fuel. Put about two or three handfuls of tinder at the centre of the fire pit. Arrange about five or size pieces of kindling over the tinder at a 35-degree angle to form a teepee or pyramid shape. Ensure the kindling structure is close together and still leave a little space for airflow.
- Use your desired fire starter to light up the tinder. Watch as the flames from the fuel get to the kindling and set the kindling on fire.
- Once the kindling catches fire, you can add your firewood. Place the wood carefully onto the fire over the kindling. You should expect the firewood to collapse the tinder after placing it and create hot embers to keep the fire burning.
- Place more pieces of firewood as the smaller pieces burn up. If the flames begin to reduce, add more kindling and tinder to the setup, so the flames around the firewood are enough till it catches fire too.
- Keep watch of the fire to ensure optimal safety and make sure it continues to burn as you wish. If the light reduces, you can always add more firewood and kindling. If the fire becomes more than you want, let it die down by itself without the addition of fuel.
Putting Out the Fire
Learning how to put out a fire is just as important as learning how to start one. Here are a couple of tips to help you put out a fire in a firepit:
- Use a hose or water bucket to sprinkle some water into the fire. Emphasis on sprinkle as it is essential you don't pour the water which can damage your firepit.
- Once you're finished sprinkling the water, and it has become embers, use a shovel to mix the ash and embers until there is no hissing.
- Leave for a while and gently touch the ash to ensure it is cool before disposing.
Using a Fire table
If you want to avoid all the hassle above, an alternative is connecting a gas fire table to either natural (you will need a certified gas installer for this) or propane gas. These fire tables would typically come on with a touch of a button without any more effort. Follow the below steps to learn how to connect a gas fire table to propane gas (also refer to the guidelines sent with your fire table):
- Inspect the gas pressure regulator and rubber washer in the regulator connection for any signs of damage.
- If there is no damage, connect the gas pressure cylinder to the gas cylinder.
- Use a wrench to tighten the pressure regulator and ensure it is firm before leaving it.
- Put the gas bottle on a flat surface in a standing position
- Use your hand to turn on the gas tap and avoid using any tools
- Use a brush and a little soap to coat the joints and keep watch
- If you see any bubbles, it means the gas pressure regulator isn't fixed correctly, and you have to repeat all the steps above again
- Once you’re sure there are no bubbles, you can start the gas fire with the push of a button.
- If the flames aren’t producing enough heat, this could be because of a connecting pipe is too long and not creating sufficient pressure.
You might not get perfect results on your first try, as starting a fire takes time to master. Not to worry, after doing it a couple of times, you will become excellent at setting up fires in your fire pit without any hassles.
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