Fire Pit Buying Guide: How to Choose a Fire Pit

There’s nothing like cozying up around a warm fire on a cool, summer night. Fire pits are a necessity to set the vibe in any backyard. But with so many options, from gas fire pit tables to wood-burning fire pit rings, you might wonder which is the best choice for your space.

Looking for fire pit ideas? Look no further. Ashley has countless options for the hottest fire pit trends at incredible prices. Check out our outdoor fire pit buying guide and transform your backyard into your favorite oasis.

What to Look for in a Fire Pit Table

There are many things to consider when looking for a fire pit table, from size to material. Choosing the right fire pit depends on many elements. Of course, your personal style is essential, but also consider your space and where you’ll set up your fire pit table.

Consider the purpose of your fire pit and backyard environment when exploring your options for fire pit tables. Will your fire pit be in a compact space, like a deck or patio, or part of a spacious outdoor lounge? Whether you have a few hundred square feet or a couple of acres of land can make a difference in the type of fire pit that works best for you.

Fire pits come in a range of sizes, from small 20-inch models to larger 45-inch ones. Always consider how much space you have since some fire pits are portable, while others can’t be moved easily. You’ll want to select a fire pit table that complements your other outdoor furniture and ties everything in.

Types of Fire Pits

Fire pit tables come in a variety of styles and materials. Here are the most common fire pit types:

  • Mantel. You’ll typically see mantle fire pit tables most frequently of the three. You can complement any aesthetic with a wide range of styles, like round, rectangular, and square. Similar to a coffee table, a mantel tabletop fire pit is the perfect spot for small meals and great conversation.
  • Fire bowl/fire ring. Another popular outdoor fire pit option, these round, floor-level pits are ideal for large gatherings.
  • Chiminea. Tall and freestanding, the chiminea brings a rustic look to any backyard. Most chimineas have a round body that extends to a chimney-style stack on top.

Various materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, bronze, faux stone, and fiberglass, are used to construct fire pits. Some materials will suit your space better than others, depending on the look you’re going for and your functionality requirements.

It’s also vital to understand the different fuels available to power your fire pit. Maybe you can’t imagine a fire without the popping sounds of wood burning. Or you want the convenience of a clean-burning propane fire. You can fuel your outdoor fire pits in several ways. Each fueling method has unique burning qualities and brings a different feel. Consider your lifestyle and the level of convenience you need when choosing your fuel. Some of the most common fueling methods are:

  • Wood
  • Propane
  • Natural gas
  • Gel
  • Bio-ethanol
  • Charcoal

Which Fire Pits Are Safest?

Safety is a crucial factor in choosing a fire pit. Gas fire pits are generally considered the safest option. A gas fire pit burns cleaner, and there’s no need to continue feeding the fire, reducing the chances of accidental burns. Gas fire pits also don’t throw sparks, lowering the possibility of unintentional ignition.

Still, backyard fire pit safety can differ based on the type of fire pit you have and your fueling method. Tools, fuels, and techniques can all play a role in fire pit safety. Let’s take wood-burning fire pits, for example. Wood-burning fire pits should typically be made of bronze or steel. Using hardwood, like oak or hickory, can ensure you have a safe and steady fire. Also, having a long-handled grabber that grasps logs firmly as you move them keeps your arms safely away from the fire.

Although gas fire pits may be safer, it’s still necessary to follow some basic fire pit safety rules:

  • Cover your gas pit if you’re not using it.
  • Avoid cooking in your gas pit.
  • Always turn your gas pit off if you’re not using it.

How Far Away From the House Should a Fire Pit Be?

Accidents happen. So, be careful when deciding where to put your new fire pit. A general rule of thumb is to maintain at least 10 to 25 feet between your fire pit and any flammable structure or surface. That includes not only your house but trees, your car, your shed, and your neighbors’ property. Checking the wind direction and only lighting a fire in winds less than 15 mph can reduce the likelihood of accidental fires.

Here are a few other vital safety rules to remember. Always keep your outdoor fire pit away from hanging branches. Most municipalities require a 21-foot clearance. Counties also have varying rules about how close your fire pit can be to your property line. Furthermore, only use a propane or natural gas fire pit on a wooden deck. Since wood-burning fire pits tend to spark, you should never use them on a wooden deck.

Check your county’s residential fire pit laws. Most neighborhoods have backyard fire pit laws in place to ensure the safety of your home, family, neighbors, and community. Some areas may require a burn permit or prohibit you from using a fire pit at certain times.

Adding a fire pit to your backyard chill spot will make your home the place to be. Hopefully, our fire pit ideas will help you make the best decision. Ready to jazz up your backyard for this summer’s family gatherings? Shop our Ashley fire pit selection and throw in some outdoor lighting while you’re at it!