Fire Pit Maintenance and Safety Tips
As with any fixture exposed to the elements, fire pit maintenance helps keep the unit functional and pleasing to your outdoor living space. Also, fire pit maintenance is critical to safe operation because of open flames, and high temperatures. Here’s what to do to ensure that your fire pit is an asset to your lifestyle and landscape for many seasons to come.
Table of Contents
Keep it Clear
Don’t allow encroaching shrubbery, weeds, or high grass within 10 feet of the pit. Be aware of overhanging tree limbs that embers could ignite. Put the pit in an area that offers shelter from the wind, so sparks aren’t spreading throughout the yard.
For wood-burning fire pits, split dry wood is preferable. Anything else such as pressure-treated wood or flammable trash may produce toxic fumes or corrode the metal of the fire pit. Use kindling to start the fire; avoid charcoal lighter fluid or other liquids that may damage the pit.
Ashes can be corrosive to the metal bowl of a fire pit. A day or so after a fire, shovel ashes out of the pit into a metal can with a lid. If someone used the pit the night before, you might want to drench the ashes after removal from the pit — live embers can continue to smoke for quite some time.
If a masonry pit becomes coated with soot or other residues, scrub it with a diluted solution of 90% water and 10% muriatic acid. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the masonry with water after cleaning. Wait two or three days for full drying to occur before using the pit.
Metal fire pits may be affected by rust and surface corrosion. Remove the superficial rust with a wire brush. Apply various commercially-available coatings formulated from oil or silicone to get rid of rust formulation. Make sure you buy the product appropriate for the specific type of metal used in your fire pit vessel.
Maintain Gas Lines
Natural gas-fired pits don’t create ashes, however, they do impose important requirements for the upkeep of the gas combustion system. Consult and follow manufacturer’s specific instructions to keep burners clean and fuel lines working properly.
If You Cook, Clean
Fire pits utilized for outdoor cooking should be kept clean of the accumulation of grease and other food drippings. These substances stain the surface of the pit and, in metal pits, accelerate rust and deterioration.
Use a Cover
A cover protects your fire pit from the elements and keeps out leaves and debris, particularly during a season when it’s not frequently utilized. If the pit didn’t come with a cover, universal covers made of vinyl or metal are commercially available.
Firepit maintenance keeps this most appealing enhancement to outdoor living safe, attractive and long-lasting. Nothing draws an indoor gathering outdoors like the warmth and aesthetics of a fire pit. It touches a deep and innate human tendency to socialize around flickering fire light. With these fire pit maintenance tips, you and your family can enjoy the benefits of a fire pit for a long time.
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