Fire pits offer the opportunity to have a controlled bonfire whenever you please.

What to know about backyard fire pits

April 29th, 2016 by

Fire pits offer the opportunity to have a controlled bonfire whenever you please.

The summer is nearly here, and with it comes ample opportunity to spend time outside. One increasingly popular feature that many homeowners are taking advantage of is a fire pit. 

Whether your property is a rural homestead or simply a house with a modest backyard, fire pits offer the opportunity to have a controlled bonfire whenever you please. Nothing can be better on a cool summer evening than sitting around a roaring fire with family and friends. When deciding on buying a fire pit for your home, consider these factors:

Depending on the type of fire pit you are looking for, costs can start as low at $100 or rise as high as $10,000 for a customized option. Different portable or self-install pits are available from your local home department store in a variety of styles and configurations. 

Fire pits come in many different styles. Your first decision – after determining how much you want to spend – should be choosing either a portable or permanent pit. Portable pits are often fire-resistant copper or stainless steel metal bowls that sit on a stand. A permanent fire pit is constructed from stones and brick and built into the ground, ready for use year round. Permanent pits may be more expensive or time-consuming since they require some construction (and thus may require hiring a professional contractor), but they typically last long and are more durable. 

Once you've purchased your fire pit, consider its positioning. Mother Earth News cautions that careful positioning is key to safety, recommending:

  • Keep pits at least 10 to 25 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard.
  • Do not position it under a covered porch or low-hanging tree branches.
  • Make sure the surface the pit is positioned on is nonflammable. 

Choosing what will be the fuel in your fire pit is key. For a more rustic approach, wood is traditional and inexpensive. The only drawback with a wood-burning pit is that you will need to keep feeding it and stirring the coals to keep the fire lit – as well as keep plenty of extra wood on hand. If you're looking for something simpler and more self-sustaining, try a gas or propane-powered fire pit. These often can be lit by the simple push of a button on a remote control. Whichever method you choose, never use an accelerant like gasoline or lighter fluid to get your fires started. 

Don't get caught standing around staring at your new fire pit, think about the seating. Since you'll want to be close, choose sturdy outdoor furniture that is also nonflammable. Consider also having some simple LED lighting near your seating.

Of course, even with safe operation, having a fire pit means that your home could be at additional risk for fires. Contact Fundy Mutual to learn how our low rates on insurance can keep your property safe.