There’s nothing better than gathering around a fire with close friends or family. There’s something about the fresh, outdoor air, the ambiance and the sense of comfort we get from such occasions that puts the world in perspective.
Portable fire pits are an ideal way to hold an evening shin dig in your garden and make sure that everyone stays warm at the same time.
Setting up your portable fire pit
The various models on the market nowadays are easy to set up and get going. There are few factors you should always keep in mind when you are planning to use this kind of installation.
Firstly, when setting up your fire pit you need to choose a flat, stable spot that isn’t surrounded by combustible material. An area of gravel or paving stones is ideal. While some people think that their patio is the best place, if it’s made of wood you will have to consider the potential for embers to pop out of the pit and catch fire. Don’t just think about the floor, though. Things like overhanging trees and awnings can get damaged if you have your fire pit too close or the flame is too hot.
Before you set up, it’s a good idea to have a little clear up. Get rid of stray leaves and other things that could easily catch fire if the breeze blows in the wrong direction. Make sure you also have a way to put out the fire if you need to. This can either be a fire extinguisher or simply a bucket of water.
Starting the fire
There’s something satisfying about starting a fire. You should, however, do this in a responsible way. Don’t use something flammable like lighter fluid, however much of a hurry you are in. If the wood pile needs help in starting, then invest in some proper fire sticks which you can pick up from most supermarkets. Be careful what you burn as well – some treated types of wood can give off harmful fumes.
The easiest way to build a fire is to layer some kindling in first (smaller and easily combustible materials like paper or fine twigs) before putting on top bigger sticks and logs. If you want some extra safety, many portable fire pits come with grilled lids that can stop sparks escaping and causing problems.
Putting out the fire
Make sure, once you’ve finished for the evening, that you extinguish the fire and don’t leave it to burn out unattended. To do this, spread out the remaining embers with your poker and wait for the flames to subside. Once this has happened you can add small amounts of water to dowse the embers and make the fire safe.
You should dispose of the ashes responsibly. Some people with the right kind of soil put it in their compost heaps but your local council should have guidelines for disposing of the residue once you have finished if you don’t have one.
If you have a portable fire pit, try to avoid leaving it out to the elements when you are not using it. Store it away in the shed or cover to protect it from the environment. Make sure that you wait for it to cool down before you move your fire pit though.