Caring For Your Outdoor Fire Pit
People use outdoor fire pits for entertainment and relaxation. Fire pits provide warmth and light on cold evenings, and can also be used to cook food at the same time. As with any other appliance, you must take good care of your outdoor fire pit to ensure a long life and reliable performance. A properly maintained fire pit is also necessary to ensure the safety of your family and your nearby home.
These tips will keep your outdoor fire pit in excellent working condition:
Clean Regularly. All types of permanent fire pits – wood, propane, or natural gas – must be cleaned and inspected periodically. The same is true for portable fire pits. The ash produced in wood fire pits must be cleaned regularly. Never allow ash to accumulate.
Clean Safely. Make sure the fire has completely died down before you remove the ashes. Portable fire pits made of clay are very fragile and must be handled very carefully. They must also be protected from rain by using a waterproof cover
Avoid accelerants. Never use accelerants or combustible materials to start a large fire. This is dangerous, and can be damaging to your fire pit as well. Also, make sure you always let fires die down gradually, without pouring water to douse the fire.
Use a sealant. You can protect the surface of your outdoor fire pit with sealants, depending on the material.
Avoid plastic. Never use any plastic materials around a fire pit. These can melt from the heat. It is very difficult to remove the residue later, and the burning of this residue can cause emission of toxic fumes.
Use a safe surface. Always place a portable fire pit on a solid, stable surface. Take care to never drop a fire pit, as any breakage could cause serious damage and costly repairs, in addition to the danger of possible gas leaks and accidents.
Inspect burners. If you are using a gas fire pit, you must inspect and clean the burners and valves regularly. Insect nests, dirt and other buildup can block the flow of air and can cause fires. You can use a small toothbrush and any household detergent to easily clean burners and valves.
Professional inspection. Gas fire pits and the gas supply must be inspected by a qualified serviceman at least once a year. If you are using gas supply from your house for your fire pit, a qualified gas supplier must install the piping.
Cover and store. If you do not plan to use your fire pit for an extended period of time, cover and store it in a safe place. This will protect it from the elements and dust buildup. When the outdoor fire pit is not is use, cover it with a fire pit cover till you are ready to light it again.
Clean after cooking. If you use your outdoor fire pit for barbecuing or grilling, make sure you clean up properly afterwards.
Keep iron dry. Iron fire pits must be kept dry as much as possible, to prevent rust buildup. Periodic application of oil helps provide some protection.
Turn off. Always turn off the fire pit and make sure the fire has died down before you leave the vicinity.