Building A Safe Outdoor Fire Pit

Gathering around an outdoor fire pit with friends and relatives is an enjoyable experience – especially if the fire is only a few feet from your home’s backdoor.

Materials Needed:


Step 1 – Locate the Site

When constructing an outdoor fire pit large opening in your yard that has no plants or trees should be selected.  Make sure the spot is wide or large enough to place chairs, lounges and other sitting devices.

Step 2 – The Hole

Although this chore can be done by one person with one shovel, depending upon how large you decide the fire pit should be, dig a hole that is a minimum of about two feet deep by four feet wide. Once the hole has been dug, remove all grass from about a foot beyond the hole.

Step 3 – Use the Dirt

All the dirt removed from the hole should be saved and placed no more than 12 feet away from the pit. Always place a shovel in the mound of dirt whenever there is a fire going so in the event the fire gets out of control becomes necessary, shovel dirt into the fire pit to manage the blaze.

Step 4 – Rock the Pit

Using some fairly large basketball sized rocks, line the fire pit hole. Make sure you have enough to fully cover the entire lip of the hole. Plus, use smaller rocks to fill in any space between larger ones. Keep in mind to use rocks that are at least 10 to 12 inches in depth when lining your pit.

Step 5 – Tell the Authorities

It may not be a mandatory rule or law in every community throughout the world, but it is a good idea to inform your local fire department about your newly dug outdoor fire pit. In most instances, local fire professionals will be more than happy to inspect your property offering valuable safety tips you might have overlooked. In any event, make sure to always follow any local ordinances about conducting outdoor fires.

Step 6 – Safety Plan

Along with consulting your local fire professionals, make sure you and family members have discussed a plan for safely operating a fire. Include instructions to family members and friends about what wood is to be used while the fire burns. Make sure everyone is familiar with where dirt and water are available in the event these are needed to control the fire burn. Never leave a fire unattended or retire for the night without making sure it is fully extinguished. Although it may not always be necessary for you to keep really close at hand, do consider locating authorized fire extinguishers in the event of an emergency.

Enjoy your backyard outdoor fire pit. As time and experience follows, you will soon gather and locate other “accessories” necessary locating kindling, matches and other items (old newspapers) to help you enjoy your time gathered around the fire.