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Fire pits have become a very popular addition to many backyards when the weather turns a bit nippy. It's a good way to dress up a boring yard and a great place to gather people for barbecue or s'mores for the kids. If you're planning to have one installed at your home, you might be asking yourself what you need to consider when building one or if there are any additions needed like a fire pit ring or insert. We've asked the same question and found the answer for you.
Whether or not you need a fire pit ring depends on how often you plan to use your fire pit. Ideally, it would be best if you install it with a fire pit ring because it will strengthen the structural integrity of your fire pit. However, if the fire pit will not be used often or is only a temporary addition to your yard, then adding a fire pit ring is not necessary.
A fire pit ring is meant to protect the structure of your fire pit. If you'd like to learn more about how fire pit rings or inserts can benefit you, continue reading because we've compiled all the information you need to know.
Is a Fire Pit Ring or Insert Necessary?
Before adding a fire pit ring or insert to that new backyard amenity, it is important to know what their purpose is. A fire pit ring is a fire-proof framework that is meant to contain a fire. It is set directly on the ground and its primary purpose is to prevent fires from spreading outside the perimeter and causing a wildfire.
Fire pit rings are usually made of steel and come in many different sizes. Some of them may even be decorative but for the purpose of a built-in fire pit in the backyard, the best choice would be a galvanized fire ring. This material takes a very long time before it rusts and it can withstand numerous uses.
A fire pit ring insert is a little different, although it does offer the same purpose as a fire pit ring. These fire pit ring inserts are metal barriers positioned on the mouth of your fire pit. It usually has a "lip" at the top that extends and rests on the stone of your fire pit. Just like its name, these inserts are installed by just inserting them into your fire pit and they are now ready to use.
Most inserts are made of 10 to 16 gauge carbon steel, treated with a heavy-duty, high-temperature resistant finish. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, so picking one for your fire pit should be easy.
When building a fire pit that is meant to be used regularly, it is highly suggested to add a fire pit ring or an insert to it. This is because fire often weakens the masonry of your fire pit due to extreme temperature changes.
Having a ring or an insert can definitely preserve the structural integrity of your fire pit. It will keep your stone holding up longer, preventing it from cracking, crumbling, or splitting. It will also keep you and your home safer from unwanted wildfire.
However, when your fire pit is going to be used very rarely or it is temporary, a fire pit ring or insert may not be necessary. This is because the stone that you will be using will not be subjected to extreme temperature changes, so its integrity may be preserved naturally without any other means. A fire pit with no fire ring or insert will still work perfectly well and it is safe enough as long as necessary precautions are observed.
Do You Need Firebrick In A Fire Pit?
Now that we've answered the question of whether or not a fire ring is necessary, there is also another related question to this—is a firebrick necessary in a fire pit?
First, what is a firebrick? Firebricks or otherwise known as refractory bricks are made of ceramic material that is meant to withstand very high temperatures. It has a low thermal conductivity which makes it great for energy efficiency. These bricks are dense and heavy, and they are often used in kilns, brick ovens, or fireplaces.
If you already have a fire pit built and you are already using a fire pit insert, using firebricks is unnecessary. This is because your fire ring and the firebrick essentially does the same job—it is meant to withstand heat and contain fires.
However, if you are still about to build a fire pit from scratch, then using a firebrick will eliminate your need to get a fire pit ring or insert. Firebricks are meant to last longer even with the extreme heat of the campfire, and they make fire pits more durable. If you already have a fire pit and you simply wish to make it a lot safer, you may line firebricks to give it extra strength.
How Do I Make Sure My Fire Pit Is Safe?
Now that you've considered the important parts of having a fire pit in your backyard, here are a few more safety tips to ensure that your fire pit is safe.
1. Fire Pit Clearance
Installing a fire pit in your backyard means that you should have enough clearance space around all sides to prevent dangerous fire from catching your home or your neighbor's. Make sure that when building a fire pit, it should at least be 10 feet away from structures and flammable materials like plants.
Also, make sure that there are no overhead branches above your fire pit as they may catch fire easily. Set your fire pit on non-combustible materials like stone, brick, or sand, and don't forget to consult local authorities on fire pit restrictions.
Always burn wood that has been seasoned for at least six months. To prevent sparks from flying all over your fire pit, make sure that logs are cut less than three-quarters of the diameter of the pit. Do not use construction materials like plywood or composite wood because these are treated beforehand and may release toxic fumes.
When using gas fire pits, make sure that all vents are clear before igniting the fire. Use only the fuel that is built to burn in the pit in order to prevent extreme fire flareups.
3. Igniting The Flames
Do not start your fire with lighter fluid, gas, or kerosene.
4. Putting Out Fires
Extinguish your fire by dousing it properly according to your manufacturer's instructions. If a flare-up occurs, you can use water to put out the fire, but the extreme temperature change may crack ceramic fire pits or some metal ones. Otherwise, keep a bucket of dry sand nearby to dump on the flames. If using a gas fire pit, turn off the supply before attempting to extinguish the fire.
5. Invest In Fire Safety
Remember to keep fire safety materials nearby when using your fire pit. Always have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher nearby, a fire blanket to help extinguish sparks and a phone for emergency cases.
Fire pits are great additions to your backyards. Having one built in your home may be one of the best decisions you make. In order to make sure that your home is safe from fire, fire pits should be installed with a fire pit ring or insert on them. This addition is meant to preserve your fire pit, making it safer and lasting longer.
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