backyard basics How To Light A Fire Pit (2023)
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How To Light A Fire Pit (2023)

A fire pit is an attractive addition to your garden, providing a warm glow. They can be difficult to light, so read our guide to learn how to light a fire pit.

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How to light a fire pit

A fantastic way to make your garden a more exciting environment is with the addition of a fire pit.

Whether you’re enjoying your garden with a friend, or you’re hosting a large garden party, you can bet that a gently blazing fire pit is going to attract attention - and its soft crackling and warm glow will be the perfect background to any conversation.

But how do you light a fire pit?

Lighting a fire pit can be a difficult feat at first, but once you learn the right steps, you’ll be able to have it safely blazing whenever you want.

In our handy guide below, we’re going to explain all the different steps you’ll need to follow in order to light your fire pit properly - and keep the flame going. Read on!


How To Light A Fire Pit

When it comes to lighting your fire pit correctly, there are two stages: the preparation beforehand and the lighting stage afterwards.

Preparing The Fire Pit Properly

In order to light your fire pit properly, there are a few factors you’re going to need to attend to when setting up.

Without the right equipment and conditions, your fire pit isn’t going to be a success, so it’s important that you spend the time getting things right beforehand.

Picking Out The Correct Wood

To start with, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve picked out the best firewood for your fire pit.

As you can imagine, wood is an incredibly important aspect for your fire, because it’s going to be the fuel.

You’re going to need to buy your wood from a proper store, where you’ll be able to see its characteristics.

Check the label: is its moisture content at 20% or less? Is it seasoned sufficiently? These are the conditions of wood that will work best for your fire pit.

On top of that, ensure you get hardwood. These are better than other varieties, because they will spit out less (which is important, since you’ll likely be near the fire pit) and they burn more slowly.


Putting Your Fire Pit In The Right Spot

Though you may think that you can put your fire pit in the garden, this actually isn’t the case.

Its position needs to be carefully calculated, otherwise the pit isn’t going to work as best as it can.

For one thing, you MUST place your fire pit on a surface that is non-flammable. Fire is dangerous, so you need to make sure it's set down safely. A purchasable fireproof mat can be a good surface.

Similarly, you also need to make sure that the fire pit isn’t near any flammable objects.

For example, you might have some wooden chairs outside. Wood is extremely flammable, which would be a disaster if it touched the fire.

You’ll also want to think about wind. Wind blows the smoke from your fire with it, so place your pit in a spot where the blown smoke won’t affect anybody.


Getting The Right Kindling Arrangement

It’s also essential that you arrange your fire pit’s kindling in the correct way. The kindling will need to be properly arranged around the correctly-chosen logs to be its most effective.

We recommend that you buy kiln-dried kindling for the fire pit.

Get about 8 sticks of the stuff, then lay them on the pit’s base. Stack them so that they’re in the shape of a square, but leave a gap in the middle for the firelighter (which we’ll talk about next!).

After that, get your smallest wooden logs and position them vertically so that they’re like a triangle or a teepee.

Picking The Right Firelighters

The final stage of preparation is all about lighting your fire pit - because you need to make sure that you get a good quality, easy to use firelighter.

Firelighters are flammable materials that start your fire, and you can get all kinds of different types.

Sustainably-made firelighters are a good choice, because they’re much better for the environment than other types of firelighter.

Chemical firelighters are another popular option, though you will want to hesitate if you’re going to be eating by the fire pit - you don’t want the chemicals near it!

If you don’t have experience, it’s probably best and safer to stick to a store-bought one.

Lighting The Fire Pit Properly

Lighting The Fire Pit Properly

Now that all the preparation has been done, it’s time to safely follow the steps to lighting your fire pit.

Lighting The Fire Safely And Carefully

With the logs and kindling properly arranged, you can now light your fire pit.

Make sure that both the logs and kindling are absolutely dry first before you try to light them, because otherwise they won’t light.

Use the firelighter with extreme care, making sure not to burn yourself.

Alternatively, a long match will do the job and help you to keep some distance. The logs and kindling should set alight.

Be sure to keep your distance from the fire pit at all times. It is also absolutely ESSENTIAL that you keep young children away from it too.

The same goes for pets, because they can get injured by the fire if they go too close.

Keeping Your Pit Going

In order to

keep the fire pit going, add only a few logs to it every now and then. This fuel will keep it burning - but make sure that the teepee shape stays intact.

Safely Extinguishing Your Fire Pit

When you’re finished, let it naturally burn down. After that, sprinkle water on it and use a long stick to mix that in with the embers. Keep your distance!

Just as there is a right way to light a fire pit, there is also a right way to put out a fire pit.

Don't pour water on your fire pit. The water will mix with the ash to create a sludge that will reduce your fire pit's lifetime. Modern fire pits are often designed to be smokeless, which is awesome!

They are also more expensive, so you want to take care of them so they will last a long time.

Final Thoughts

Fire pits are great garden accessories - safely light one with our guide!

Now, sit back and relax, and enjoy some time around the fire. If the smoke is bothering you, we recommend you consider a smokeless fire pit.

Breeo and Solo Stove make our favorite smokeless fire pits!

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