Perhaps nothing is more fulfilling than sitting around a fire pit at the end of a hard day's work. It gets even more thrilling when the fire pit goes well for several hours while chit-chatting with your guests.
But now, the time has come for everyone to head inside the house. That means you need to put out the fire pit. Leaving the smoldering embers could spell doom in the dead of night and is, therefore, risky. So, how do you put out a fire pit? This is what you are about to discover in this article.
This step-by-step process for putting out a fire pit is based on the assumption that you own a wood-burning fire pit.
Here are some items you will need to put out your fire pit effectively:
- A pair of clear goggles
- A pair of heat-resistant mitts
- A shovel or stick
- A metal bucket
- A garden hosepipe connected to a water source or pump
If you’ve got these materials ready, let’s proceed to put out your fire pit:
Step 1 - Allow the burning firewood to burn down completely. Be patient until the fire pit flames start burning out on their own, and all that remains in the fire pit are ashes.
Step 2 - Cool the ashes in the fire pit down using a bucket of water. You can use a hosepipe connected to a water source and cover it with a finger. This action turns the flowing water into jets of water as they hit the ashes.
You may also attach a multi-pattern nozzle to the hosepipe and set it to 'spray.' This easily douses flare-ups as direct streams of water from the hosepipe can quickly spread sparks.
As soon as the water hits the ashes in the fire pit, they will naturally bounce. This produces a lot of smoke. Prepare for this by using a pair of crystal clear goggles.
Allow the jets of water to stream over the ashes slowly. Using the hosepipe ensures all the ashes are hit squarely, leaving none to smolder.
Step 3 - When you are sure the ashes are no longer smoldering, use gloved hands to spread out the ashes over the base of your fire pit. Spreading the ash allows them to cool down quicker.
Using the heat-resistant mitts protect your hands from the heat of the ashes and from accidentally encountering smoldering embers.
Step 4 - Check the temperature of the ashes in your fire pit. You can do this by holding your bare hand slightly above the cooling ashes.
If the ashes in the fire pit still feel somewhat warm, you may have to continue pouring jets of water over them.
Get a shovel or stick to stir the ashes in the fire pit in order to ensure equal coverage.
Step 5 - Use the shovel to scoop up the ashes as soon as you perceive that the ashes are cool enough – by holding your bare hand over the ash repeatedly or checking how warm or cold the ashes are with a mitt-covered hand.
Scoop the ashes into a metal bucket. Don't dispose of the ashes using a plastic bin. There's an excellent chance that some ashes are still very hot and may create a fire.
Of course, there are several ways to put out a wood-burning fire pit. The best way is what was covered earlier. Here are other suggested ways to put out a wood-burning fire pit:
Using Dirt or Sand To Put Out A Fire Pit
You can use dirt, sand, or both to put out a fire pit. This is also the best option if you don't own a hosepipe or own one, but its length is not enough to reach the fire pit in your backyard. It is also an excellent alternative for those conscious of water usage. Using sand or dirt helps prevent your fire pit from becoming rusty.
Step 1 - Allow the embers in the fire pit to burn down until they become ashes.
Step 2 - Get the shovel and pour dirt or sand over the glowing embers until they are covered completely.
Step 3 - Use the long stick or shovel to stir the dirt, sand, and ashes together within the fire pit. Do this until you see that the fire in the fire pit has been extinguished.
Using A Snuffer To Put Out A Fire Pit
A snuffer refers to a large sheet of metal used for extinguishing fires in fire pits. You can place the snuffer directly over the fire pit. This large sheet of metal does its job by blocking the free flow of oxygen to the fire pit.
Most fire pits come along with a snuffer. But in case yours didn’t, you may have to buy one. However, ensure you accurately measure the fire pit in your backyard before purchasing a snuffer.
You can also put out your fire pit using a fire extinguisher. Just point the hose at the fire pit, and press the trigger.
Putting Out a Gas Fire Pit
Putting out the fire in a gas fire pit is much simpler. All you have to do is turn off the gas supply.
However, most gas fire pits come with decorative glass or stones that must cool down before you put a cover over them.
How To Use Your Fire Pits Safely
It doesn’t matter whether you are just making plans to get a fire pit or already have one. You need to review fire pit safety by investing some effort. This is highly crucial if you own a fire pit for the first time.
- Select the Perfect Site for Your Fire Pit
Fire pit safety begins with selecting the perfect site for your fire pit. Ensure the ground is level. This is crucial if the type of fire pit you want is portable.
Keep all fire pits located 10-20 feet away from nearby buildings, plants, etc., including your home. Check with the county and city authorities to ensure you are not flouting any rules regarding the distance of fire pits from surrounding structures.
- Never Use Your Fire Pit Underneath an Overhang
Do not operate a fire pit underneath the overhang of a building or even in a partially enclosed space. If you have overhanging trees in your backyard, you must be extra careful. Overhanging trees can easily ignite when flying wood-fire sparks connect.
- Surround Your Fire Pit with Non-Combustible Materials
You should consider surrounding your fire pit with crushed stone, sand, brick, or other non-combustible materials, especially if the fire pit is set in a fire-prone area.
- Use/Burn the Right Type of Wood
If you use a wood-burning fire pit, the #1 safety rule begins with its fuel, i.e., wood. Never burn wood that has not been seasoned for at least 6 months. Do not use construction materials like composite woods, plywood, etc. When burned, these release toxic fumes to the atmosphere or surroundings.
Even birch, pine, and other softwoods produce more sparks and crackles than seasoned hardwoods such as hickory or oak.
Since wood fuels your fire pit, cut the logs to make their entire lengths at least three-quarters of the pit's diameter. Do not use gasoline or lighter fluid when starting a fire in your fire pit.
- Use the Fire Pit Screen As Much As Possible
If you are lucky to get a fire pit with a screen, ensure you always use that screen each time you are burning. Make sure to also have a garden hosepipe or bucket of sand nearby in case you have to suddenly deal with wayward sparks from your wood-burning fire pit.
- Use Heat-Resistant Mitts
Make sure a pair of heat-resistant mitts or gloves are handy if you need to handle the hot parts of your fire pit.
When positioning chairs around the fire pit, make sure they are set so that your guests can rise or move about the seats without the risk of tumbling straight into the fire.
- Keep an Eye On Kids
Keep an eye on kids whenever you use a fire pit or get someone to do so while you attend to the fiery focal point in your backyard. Never allow children to get too close to the fire pit.
- Invest in a Fire Blanket
You should also consider investing in a fire blanket. This is a handy accessory for extinguishing sparks from the fire pit. You should also get a dry-chemical, fully charged fire extinguisher with a multipurpose or Class B and C rating. Find out the most effective range, which is generally 6-10 feet in most cases. Learn how to use this fire extinguisher properly.
If you use a gas fire pit and you have to put out the fire, turn off the gas supply first before unleashing the fire extinguisher. If you have windy conditions, don’t attempt to light a fire.
- Never Leave Your Fire Pit Unattended Overnight
Do not leave your fire pit to glow overnight at the end of your enjoyable evening. Douse it properly using any of the methods stated in the previous section. You also have to take note of any specific instructions about putting out your fire pit, which came with your purchase.
Review these instructions, or follow the earlier methods to put out the fire.
Best Practices and Tips for Prolonging Your Fire Pit
Fire pits affordably and conveniently provide all the joys of the outdoor lifestyle. However, most fire pits have a unique potential downside: they do not last long. The only way fire pits can last long is if they are used and properly maintained.
Therefore, you need to learn the best practices and tips for prolonging your fire pit.
- Provide Adequate Protection
Most fire pits are subject to the elements such as snow, rain, ice, and even the brutal sun. Weather takes a toll on fire pits, making them run down within a short period.
However, you can prevent this and prolong the life of your fire pit by keeping the latter under a cover when it is not in use. You can always find a cover that fits an outdoor fire pit. You will find a wide variety of fire pit covers online.
If you own a portable fire pit, bring it to a safe place – such as a storage shed, covered back porches, garage, etc. – for storage. Protecting your fire pit from the onslaught of the brutal sun, freezing temperatures, and moisture will make it last longer.
- Purchase a High-Quality Fire Pit
If you purchase a fire pit because it is cheap, you will get what you pay for: a fire pit that will not last long. High-quality fire pits are made of high-quality materials and are usually pricey.
Another way to ascertain the quality of a fire pit is its thickness. Thick fire pits constructed with quality materials guarantee longevity. Therefore, go for fire pits made from durable materials such as heavy-duty steel, bronze, or cast iron.
- Avoid Using Flammable Liquids When Staring a Fire in Your Fire Pit
When getting a wood fire started in your wood-burning fire pit, do not be tempted to use flammable liquids to get it going. Many records exist in which people who made such an attempt ended up with severe burns.
Moreover, using flammable liquids to get a fire going in your fire pit can also cause severe property damage. This can also deteriorate the life of your fire pit in the long run.
- Burn Seasoned Firewood Only
Burning pieces of treated lumber or trash in a fire pit may seem harmless. But this action is very harmful.
For instance, treated lumber – as well as some types of trash – release highly toxic fumes when burned. Burning green wood is also a bad idea as all the fire energy goes into burning up the moisture content. This creates excessive smoke, which the wind may spread all over the place.
Therefore, stick to using only seasoned firewood or low-moisture firewood. This type of firewood burns modestly and gives the perfect flame type without harming the environment.
- Allow the Fire in Your Fire Pit Die Out Naturally
We just discussed how to put out a fire pit some minutes ago. Unfortunately, if you do these consistently, it will not help your fire pit to last very long. This is true if you constantly use water or a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. The constant rapid temperature changes from hot to cold can cause the fire pit to crack.
Therefore, allow the fire in your fire pit to die out naturally. This means you have to know the exact number of hours you intend to stay outdoors. This should inform you when to stop feeding the fire pit with more wood.
Putting out a fire pit is not rocket science. You have to follow the steps highlighted or discussed if you want to extinguish the fire in your fire pit with zero incidences.
Fire pits are excellent additions to backyards or patios and can be used for cooking, warmth, or just general aesthetics. But what is even more crucial is learning how to put out a fire pit when you are done with it for the night.
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