There are absolutely a lot of reasons why you would want a fire pit in your backyard or start a camp fire while outdoors with friends and family. Cozying up near a blazing fire, smelling that smokey, delicious taste of barbecue and just enjoying the crackling sound of wood burning can really make any gathering memorable and fun. Of course, before you can relax and reaps the benefits of having a fire pit, you should know how to actually light one!
Lighting a fire pit is not as easy as striking a match and throwing it into a pile of fire wood that you placed inside your fire pit. You actually need to learn how to light a fire pit not just for obvious safety reasons but in order to enjoy a strong, constant flame that will keep going as long as you’re outdoors. You don’t need to worry or be daunted at the thought of starting a fire because it is a technique that anyone can certainly learn!
First off, you have to consider the type of fire pit you are using outdoors before you take the necessary steps of lighting one. There are a number of options in the market nowadays to what type of fire pit you can actually use. However, whether you choose a DIY in-ground one or a free-standing vessel, there is only one common thing that you have to think about and that is fuel.
Typically, there are fire pits that use traditional wood for fuel while there are those that run on LPG or natural gas. Once you figure out which type of fuel you are most likely to use, you can then learn how to light up a fire pit conveniently and safely.
How to Light a Gas Burning Fire Pit
It is not a secret that modern times have ushered an easier way to lighting up a fire and that is through liquified petroleum gas. A gas burning fire pit uses natural gas or LPG as primary fuel to burn fires. These usually feature fire glass, lava rock, ceramic stones etc… as a fire medium and do not utilize real wood.
Usually, gas burning fire pits are used for those who are living in apartments or areas that have small yards or patios which can only accommodate a certain size of fire pit. Also, there are some densely populated locations which do not allow real wood logs to be burned outdoors.
Gas burning fire pits is easier and more convenient because you do not need to gather materials in order to start the flame. Most people opt to get gas fire pits with electronic ignition system. These ignitions use batteries in order to start the fire in a gas fueled fire pit. People sometimes fine this automatic ignition system safer and less of a hassle as it has a built-in technology that automatically senses whenever your flame is too strong or running too low and automatically rectifies it. Also, there are gas fire pits that have an automatic safety shut-off mechanism which turns off the fuel if your fire pit is left on for too long.
Another reason why people opt for the gas fire pit with electronic ignition systems is the fact that it can be connected and operated using an app on your phone, a remote control or even a switch which allows a person to tend or control the fire’s blaze from a safe distance. Although gas fire pits with electronic ignition systems have instructions in a manual on how to start them, here is a quick guide on how you can light this type of fire pit!
- Turn on your fire pit system using a switch or if you have a remote control or an app in your device.
- Allow the system to perform a quick safety check before you begin the flow of gas to your fire pit. Once the safety check is done, a pilot flam will be ignited.
- Once the gas is flowing to the main burner ignited by the pilot, your gas fire pit is up and running with its full blaze.
- Simply use the remote-control system to adjust the flame height or to turn the fire pit off to extinguish the flame once you’re done using it.
There is another way to get a fire going when using a gas fire pit and that is with a push-button ignition. These ignitions light a fire pit by creating a spark, igniting the gas source with one push of a button. Think of it as starting a gas grill! The system works using an AA battery which creates a spark to light up your fire pit, making it effortless! To light a fire pit using this push-button system, here are the steps:
- Locate the valve control knob on your fire pit and turn it on. This will start the flow of the gas into your fire pit.
- Push the button on your ignition system as you turn the valve and gas is flowing to create a spark which will light the pilot of your fire pit.
- Once the pilot is lit, release the push-button but only release the control knob about 20 seconds after.
- Adjust the control knob counter clockwise to the light the main burner and adjust the height or size of your flames.
- After using the fire pit, just turn the knob or valve to the OFF position to stop the flow of gas to your fire pit and it will shut down the flames.
LPG or natural gas burning fire pits are the wise choice for people who are not comfortable getting close to a fire or actually lighting up a match to start a fire going. It is fast and effortless no matter the weather condition. It is also almost smokeless and ashless so it does not need too much effort in cleaning.
However, most gas-powered fire pits have limited high-temperature level when compared to wood burning ones. Some of these fire pits are also limited when it comes to grilling or barbecuing capacity. But, if you are just looking for a warm fire to cozy up around and enjoy some company, it works just fine. Just make sure you get a professional gas installation provider to set it up.
How to Light a Wood Burning Fire Pit
There is a certain magic when it comes to being able to light a fire pit the traditional way. It makes one feel accomplished and makes you relish being outdoors even more. As mentioned, lighting up a fire pit using wood can be scary but certainly no impossible! It can be a little tedious and takes more time than just igniting or pushing on a switch but, it can be fun and rewarding at the end.
The first step you have to take is to prepare the materials you need to actually start the fire. You need to have:
- Tinder – Dry debris or small pieces like tree bark, shredded newspaper, pine needles which can be easily lit with a match.
- Fire Wood or Wood Logs – Dry wood is best for fire pits. Logs or wood that has been split into a combination of large and small sizes to get the fire pit fires continuously burning and keep the fire a healthy blaze.
- Kindling – This is used to ignite the fire wood or wood logs. These are long, dried sticks of wood or twigs to build the base of the fire.
- Matches or Lighters – These will be used to light up the kindling. If you are uncomfortable using a lighter, there are long stemmed matches available in stores. This will give your fingers enough distance from the fire you will light with the matchstick.
Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you are now ready to embark on the process of lighting your fire pit!
- Pile a generous amount of tinder in the center of your fire pit and stack the smallest pieces of kindling on top of it. Make sure you leave enough room for the fire to breathe and build from your tinder. Use a pyramid shape to stack the kindling over the tinder as it is the most efficient way of starting a wood burning fire pit.
- Using your match or lighter, ignite the pile of tinder and allow it to reach the first stack of kindling. Add bigger pieces of kindling as the fire starts to build until you see a consistent, healthy blaze being sustained by the kindling.
- Once the initial fire is going, add a small wood log or two. Keep building your fire by adding more wood logs, keeping the larger ones on top of the smaller ones like a stack.
- Don’t dump too many logs into the fire instead, add two or three while ensuring that there are sufficient air gaps in between the logs. Remember, good airflow means a strong, consistent burning fire.
- Have a poker or wood gripper so you can tend to the fire as it consumes the logs. Do not handle wood with your bare hands when adding them into the already blazing fire.
Remember to always check your surroundings when lighting up a fire pit to ensure that nothing flammable or combustible catches fire outside your fire pit. As exciting as it may be to light and enjoy your fire pit, safety should still be your utmost priority. You have to have fire extinguishers at a ready in case of mishaps and of course, have a fire pit ring or mesh spark screens to guard and surround the fire pit. This prevents embers from flying or rolling out of your fire pit and helps contain your fire. Now, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the benefits of your fire pit safely!
Hi, I’m Adam and I’m a HUGE fan of Food and Cooking.
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