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The most important factor to keep in mind when making a homemade fire pit is safety. Fire pits should always be constructed a safe distance away from any plants, structures, fences, outdoor furniture, and other flammable materials. They should never be built underneath trees where the leaping flames from a fire might cause branches to burn. The fire pit should be crafted without using any materials that might ignite, and it should never be placed on a flammable surface. Cinder blocks, brick, stone, and concrete are the materials most often used to make a backyard fire pit, and sometimes metal fire rings are also used.
Once a safe location to construct a homemade fire pit has been decided upon, the next step is to determine the size. The size will dictate how many bricks, cinder blocks, or stones will be required. When using a metal fire ring, the size of the fire pit will be determined by the diameter of the ring, but if building a homemade fire pit out of other materials, the uses planned for the fire pit will help determine the size. If the fire pit will be used as a grill, the inside diameter will need to be slightly smaller than the grill, but if no grill or fire ring will be used the fire pit can be larger.
A homemade fire pit can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary fire pits are often used at the beach or while camping, and are made from materials that are readily available. Sand is a safe surface to use underneath a fire pit at the beach, and rocks are often easy to find for a homemade fire pit when camping in the woods. A temporary fire pit should not be constructed with a large diameter because the wider the size, the more likely it is that the sides might fall over.
There are some other safety factors to keep in mind when using a homemade fire pit. Make sure that the stones or bricks are dry before lighting a fire because if there is any water in them, they may explode when exposed to high temperatures. A bucket of water should always be kept nearby when the fire is lit in case any flying embers land on something flammable and cause it to ignite. As long as these tips are followed, a backyard fire pit can provide many years of enjoyment to family and friends.
Does anyone know what the best materials are for constructing your own fire pit, or is it more a matter of aesthetics?
I rather like how brick looks, but wonder if something like solid stone might be a safer option.
I am also curious about purchasing the metal grating that you set atop the pit. Is it available at your local home improvement store, or would a place that sells camping supplies be a better bet?
I like the idea of having a fire pit for cooking and would like to make sure I construct it as safely as possible.
Before you start making a homemade fire pit make sure to check your local bylaws. In my district it is illegal to have a fire pit in your backyard within the city limits, no matter how safely constructed it is.
The reasons they cite is that wafting cinders could easily be carried to a neighboring home and cause a fire. Also, during the summer it may be especially dry which makes this an even great danger.
If you want a fire pit for roasting marshmallows or cooking, I would recommend a charcoal barbeque. They do produce a decent amount of flames with the right kindling.
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