Gas Fire Pits - A Look at Propane and Gas Outdoor Fire Pits
Fire Pits Choices
One very popular addition for the backyard, patio or deck these days is a fire pit. In days gone by it was common to have an open wood burning fire pit in the backyard that was used for a gathering area for friends and neighbors. This is just a modern day version of how our ancestors gathered around fires for warmth and cooking for thousands of years. Many homeowners have built their own fire pit from a simple hole in the ground that might be lined with rocks or stone to help contain the fire.
But in today's urban setting, the idea of a wood-burning outdoor fire pit is sometimes a bit of a problem. Many cities have an outdoor burn ban in the dry summer months, and even if burning is allowed, you still have to deal with finding and storing the wood for the pit, and disposing of the ashes from the pit, the possibility of sparks escaping and causing problems with your home of the neighbors, and the smoke from wet or green wood. Starting the fire can be a problem with wet kindling, and when you are done you need to monitor it as it burns down.
To address these problems we need to find a new way to fit a fire pit into our landscaping ideas.
Gas and Propane Fire Pits
Recently many manufacturers have started to offer gas and propane fire pits as a way to reduce or eliminate many of the problems with wood burning fire pits. Some of the advantages of gas fire pits:
1) Easy to start - basically you turn it on and either use a lighter or a built in ignitor to start the fire.
2) Few ashes or smoke - Gas burns cleanly, so the cleanup is minimal, and there is little smoke to deal with.
3) Fire is contained - With a wood-burning pit, sometimes you can get more fire than you bargained for, and at other times you may not get much of a fire going at all. Plus, when you are finished, you just turn off the fire.
4) Fuel storage - With a propane fire pit, you may have to store a propane tank like the one used on your BBQ; with a gas pit, the gas is plumbed in.
With a propane fire pit, the operation is much the same as a gas pit, but it has the extra advantage of being fairly portable. You can place it wherever you want, since it is fueled from a portable tank, you aren't tied to the need to plumb gas to the pit. Conversely, you do have to refill the tank occasionally, but that is fairly easy these days since most home improvement and grocery stores seem to stock propane fuel exchanges these days.
You can find these in all sorts of styles. There are gas fire tables, which can double as a patio table, and even come with chairs in a set. There are also portable propane fire pits that can be carried for camping or picnicking.