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Selecting A FirePit

Aug 20, 2008
When looking for a Fire Pit, one of the most important considerations is your space - and not just size and location. Do you have a physically large space or a small one? Are you considering a Fire Pit for ambiance, warmth, or for a multi-purpose solution - like a fire and a grill or a fire table? Do you want a personal Fire Pit for indoor use? Do you like metal, ceramic, stone, or glass? Do you want a portable unit? What type of fuel do you want to use?

Evaluate the location itself and determine what size (diameter) best fits your location, fuel type, requirements, and seasonal usage. Other considerations include:

How large of an area can your Fire Pit occupy?

Evaluate the dimensions of the Fire Pit and your physical space. The primary measurement is the width - so look at your space and see if the width of the unit will accommodate your selected location. If you have trouble visualizing space, get a piece of newspaper, measure a circle or square based on the diameter of the unit you are considering, cut it out and place the newspaper in your location. Once you've figured out the width, then evaluate the height. Fire Pits have a wide array of heights - ranging form short portable units to Pagodas.

Look at your space and determine if the height is appropriate. Additionally, don't forget to look at the base - FirePits have a variety of base designs and you should make sure you like the base too.

Styles and sizes:

Table Top Fire Pit: The fire pit resides in the center and a table encircles the firepit. This style encourages everyone to gather around the fire, possibly cook dinner (based on the model) and enjoy the ambiance. The tables often have a tiled mosaic pattern, and the Fire Pit can be fueled by gas, gel or wood.

Pagoda Style Fire Pits are generally taller and more elaborately designed. Many double as a grill.

Chimenea's are an increasingly popular portable outdoor fireplace. They were traditionally constructed from terra-cotta but can now be found in assorted finishes including steel, iron and copper. Chimenea's were typically used to burn wood but an ever increasing number are equipped with gas.

Do you have a material preference?

FirePits come in a wide variety of materials - look at your outdoor space and determine which style suits your location. Evaluate your flooring and make sure it will be safe for your FirePit. If not, you may need to purchase a Fire Mat and ... we always suggest keeping a hose on hand. Fire Pits are made in many materials including copper, iron, steel, aluminum - natural stone, manufactured stone, and ceramic.

Does it need to provide heating?

If your Fire Pit needs to provide heating then Gels many not be the best choice. Gels will often crackle and pop, but the heat they provide is not as significant as wood or gas.

Do you need to be able to move the Fire Pit?

Some Fire Pits are portable while others are a little more cumbersome. If you are looking for a portable Fire Pit to take camping or tailgating, a portable fire pit may be perfect. Additionally, if you like to be able to rearrange your outdoor space regularly a FirePit weighing a few hundred pounds may be a little cumbersome.

Do you need to have LP Gas, Natural Gas, Gel, or Wood?

In regards to Gas, LP or Natural Gas are both options. Gel will snap, crackle and pop, but you need to purchase the Gels separately. Gels come in a canister, and we suggest carefully stirring each container (unless the box states otherwise) to ensure the mixture is evenly dispersed. NOTE: Some Gels may not fit other Gel units. With wood, well, wood is pretty easy as long as it is easy to procure. With any FirePit we suggest using a screen for safety.

Would you like to be able to cook on your Fire Pit?

If you would like to have your Fire Pit double as a grill , there are a number of available models for you to select from. Some look like a grill, and others are quite stylistic in shape.

Price:

Prices can range from $60.00 to over $3,000.00 for more of a Customized Fire Pit. For the upper end Fire Pit, they are usually made to order - so be sure to understand there is a waiting period of usually at least 40 days from the day the order is placed until delivery.

Safety and Other Concerns

* Place your unit on stable ground.
* Keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
* Be aware of your local fire ordinances - some local governments will not allow a Fire Pit in certain locations.

Others have specific installation requirements and it is your responsibility to ensure your unit meets these specifications.

* Use your screen to contain sparks.
* Look at your flooring - if you have wood - or wood nearby - be careful. Consider purchasing a fire mat and spark screen.

Chimeneas must be "cured" before use to insure longevity and safe burning.

* Children - don't forget, the fire pits are hot.
* This list is by no means complete, and we are not responsible for any accidents.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know what else we can add to make this even more useful. Thanks!
About the Author
We sell a wide variety of firepits online. http://www.firepitdeals.com
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