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Outdoor Fire Pits: 3 Considerations To Make Before You Buy

Updated on September 17, 2010

Fire Pits: Hottest Backyard Furniture Options

Fire pits have become incredibly popular backyard furniture pieces for many reasons. They are great home accessories because they are just as beautiful as they are functional. Fire pits are one of the few backyard accessories that serve as both a design element and as outdoor heating.

With an outdoor fire pit you will have a fabulous place to relax after a long day, or a great place to gather around with friends and have a martini. Fire pits are also a great way to convert your backyard from a cold, austere place in to a warm, ambient, and welcoming space.

3 Things You Must Consider Before Buying or Building Fire Pits

When it comes to fire pits there are a few key things that you must keep in mind. Before adding a fire pit to your patio or backyard there are three main things that you should consider beforehand if you want to avoid unnecessary inconveniences.

To avoid being overwhelmed with smoke, place fire pits down wind of the prevailing winds in your area.
To avoid being overwhelmed with smoke, place fire pits down wind of the prevailing winds in your area.
For maximum enjoyment of fire pits and the outdoors, place your pit so that your back is not toward the natural view.
For maximum enjoyment of fire pits and the outdoors, place your pit so that your back is not toward the natural view.

1. Local Fire Codes
This is the very first thing that you must look into--as you do not want to get cited for illegally having an open fire in your backyard. There are many communities that have strict fire codes--whether it is because they want to reduce air pollution or because they want to minimize the chance of having wild fires. Even if fire pits and open fires are not restricted in your area there may still be zoning laws which dictate how large your fire pit can be and where your outdoor fire pit can be placed.

2. Prevailing Wind Direction

This is the next thing that people should consider before adding fire pits to their patios or backyards. It is important to consider this before placing your fire pit--unless you don't mind the risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling way too much smoke. While wind patterns will always change, it is wise to find out what direction the prevailing winds in your area run. Never place fire pits up wind of this direction, but rather place them down wind of the prevailing wind direction.

3. Natural View

This particular consideration will not risk your health or get you cited for illegal activity, but it is still important because it can increase the level of enjoyment that you get out of your fire pit. You want to keep the natural view in mind when placing fire pits. It is always best to place fire pits in a position where you can look out beyond them at a natural view--whether it be a a lake, the wilderness, or just your backyard. You want to place your fire pit in a spot where you and the majority of your guests will not be faced away from the view.

One Last Fire Pit Consideration

There is one more consideration you can make, as well. This is more of an aesthetic decision but it can transform the look of your fire pit. You can glam up fire pits--and other fire furniture like fire tables and fireplaces--with a little product called fire glass. Fire glass is a great alternative to traditional wood logs because it is cleaner, greener, and quite beautiful to look at. It never leaves behind ash or debris and it never releases noxious smoke. 

Fire glass gives an elegant and modern look to fire pits, fire tables, and fireplaces.
Fire glass gives an elegant and modern look to fire pits, fire tables, and fireplaces.

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