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5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fire Pit


An excellent way to relax in the backyard is to use a fire pit. If you've never started, there are a few key things to know first that will help you maximize your outdoor fun and keep everyone safe.
So, check out this guide before upgrading your backyard. We'll go through which points to consider to safely enjoy your personal campfire. We'll also suggest uses that you may not have considered.
Safety first
Any open flame is potentially dangerous. Therefore, check with your local fire department before purchasing a home fire pit. Confirm that family campfires are allowed in your area. If your house is part of a homeowners association, it should be able to provide specific guidance.
If a fire is allowed, follow these general guidelines issued by the National Fire Protection Association. Essentially, they require a bucket, garden hose, or fire extinguisher to be ready before starting a fire. You should also keep an eye on children and pets around the fire and not let them get too close.
Choose a suitable location
NFPA also recommends placing fires at least 25 feet away from any structure or flammable material. In addition to buildings, it includes overhanging branches, grasses, bushes and shrubs, as well as leaves and twigs.
Select a horizontal area. Avoid dry and windy conditions, as light winds can quickly blow away embers from your fire and around your yard. Also, don't forget to respect your neighbors: choose a location that's not too close to or directly above their property.
use the right fuel
The fuel of choice for fire pits is kiln-dried hardwood logs. Examples include hickory, maple, birch and oak.
There are specialty stores that can deliver firewood nationwide. If only fancy wood will do, look at the cut edges. Also consider wood from a local dealer.
Another way is to embrace your inner lumberjack. I mean, cut your own firewood from a fallen tree on your property. However, the road requires planning: it takes about six months for freshly felled wood to cure naturally - which, of course, involves more manual labor.
How to start your fire
Lighting a campfire isn't rocket science, but it does require technology. Assuming you have a high-quality fire pit, you need three items to be successful. These are split hardwood logs, some kindling and a lighter. Start by arranging your logs in a cone or pyramid shape (points pointing towards the sky). If your logs are too long, stack them into a rectangle. They should touch each other but have enough room for air to flow.
Next, place your tinder on the bottom of the log tent. Small twigs that have fallen from the junk pile in your yard are great for this. Then sit in the igniter inside the tinder. Wax lighters are just as effective as the pressed cardboard variety. You can also use newspaper, cardboard scraps, or paper towels in a pinch.
Finally, light the lighter with a match or BBQ lighter. A good fire pit with properly constructed fuel should fully ignite within 5 to 10 minutes. You should also stay away from liquid boosters, such as light liquids. They are dangerous and add harmful chemicals, tastes and odors to your wood.

Unlike charcoal grills, fire pits do not have adjustable vents. This makes putting out a fire safely a slow process. Use water to extinguish fires only in emergencies. Doing so creates instant steam and hot debris. Even if the remaining coals appear to have gone out, wait at least 12 hours before disposing of them.