Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit can bring the pleasure of camping right into your backyard. The most common kind of fire pit will burn gas-either natural or propane-although it is possible to install the wood burning kind. Most homeowners, however, prefer to avoid the hassle of chopping and hauling firewood as well as cleaning up the charred wood and soot that such a fire leaves behind.

A gas outdoor fire pit comes with a realistic looking set of logs in a campfire design for instant camping atmosphere. The pit itself may be round, square, or even hexagonal and constructed of stone, brick, pavers, or rock. Go for a caveman look, as though you've just piled a bunch of stones in a circle. Or choose something more sophisticated in a smooth concrete look as though this pit was cast just for you.

Fire pits should be sturdy and weatherproof, but that doesn't mean they have to be heavy. They're only built to look that way. A small fire pit can be completely portable and may be set on the ground or on a sturdy table.

Although a gas fire pit is not rated as a cooking device, it is more than adequate for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs. A gas fire pit can produce plenty of heat for this procedure-about 60,000 BTUs with liquid propane and 75,000 BTUs with natural gas. Be sure to decide ahead of time whether you want to use natural gas or propane. Gas fire pits cannot generally be modified to switch from one fuel use to another.

Gas fire pits are rated as outdoor appliances and do not need to be covered when not in use. They should be listed as safe for placement on wooden decks as well as concrete. If they are placed on synthetic lumber with plastic or vinyl content, a protective covering should be used. Gas fire pits should not be used in any covered area.

To set up your gas fire pit, you probably won't need more than a pair of pliers and a 3/4" wrench. If the pit is fueled by liquid propane, it should come with several feet of hose and a regulator. Be sure to set the propane tank at least two feet away from the pit.

Some gas fire pits will come with self igniters so all you have to do is turn the handle, let the clicker create sparks, and watch the flames. Others need to be lit, which is an easy process. Place the lighter wand or lit match near the gas outlet in the center and slowly turn on the gas. If you fail to achieve ignition, turn the gas off and wait 5 minutes to clear out any gas and try again.

Where to Buy Fire Pits

There are many places where you may purchase a fire pit. Some of the best places may be your local home improvement store. Many of these will carry at least one or two models of fire pits. If you are looking for other places where you can obtain a more extensive selection of fire pits, you can check the stores below.

Fire Pit Shop: online store dedicated to fire pits, patio heaters, and chimineas. The store offers a decent selection.

Yardiac: home improvement shop with a large selection of fire pits and fire rings. Not great presentation, but it has good selection.

Eco Gardening: home decor shop that is targeted toward environmentally friendly product. They have a good selection of fire pits and fire rings.