A fire pit or fire hole can range from a simple pit excavated in the ground to a complex stone, brick, and metal structure that burns fuel. The common trait of fire pits is that they are intended to confine and inhibit the spread of fire. Many people ask a common question: Can they use mulch around a fire pit? So, here in this article, I will give you the answer to this crucial question.
Now, let’s get right: You can’t mulch around a fire pit because mulch contains combustible material that can readily catch fire, especially during a drought.
If you must mulch around your fire pit, make sure it is 18m above ground level and 10ft away from the structure or any other combustible objects. According to a Massachusetts Department of Fire Services study, mulch has caused around $5 million in fire-damaged building structures.
Alternative to Mulch
You may also apply mulch alternatives to beautify the area around your campfire. Some of the options are as follows:
1. Gravel and rock
River rock, pea gravel, and other natural stone may add a beautiful touch to any yard. However, keeping some rocks away from your fire pit is essential.
River rock and other porous rocks may hold water; they can erupt and injure people when heated. If you’re going to landscape with rock and stone, utilize tougher, less porous rock like slate, granite, or marble.
Sand can be used instead of mulch while covering the surrounding fire pit. They are resistant to fire, and they provide a smooth surface that creates a tranquil backdrop for accent stones or groomed plants. Sand, on the other hand, requires upkeep in the form of weeding and cleaning.
3. Green mulch
Green mulch is usually moist in nature and provides some fire resistance. However, if someone carelessly discarded a cigarette, it might quickly start a fire. So scheduled watering may be required for such instances.
4. Brick or concrete pavers
You can use brick to decorate the surrounding firepit. As bricks are not flammable, they also add tremendous beauty to your patio.
For the fire pit’s surround, concrete pavers or patio slabs are also a wonderful choice. Concrete will not catch fire and is hefty and solid enough to offer stability.
5. Composted wood chips
The least dangerous fire behavior was demonstrated by composted wood chips and a single layer of Tahoe Chips – a product comparable to what utility tree companies create. Shredded rubber and pine needle mulch were the most dangerous mulches.
Safety Guidelines to Mulch Around Fire Pit
However, if you genuinely want to mulch around your firepit for its aesthetic appeal, you must follow some safety guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:
- The use of fire accelerants such as lighter fluid or gasoline should be prohibited. They emit hazardous gases and have the potential to trigger explosions. Use wood shavings, kindling, or commercial fire starters or sticks.
- Make sure the wood is the right size for the size of your fire pit. Check that the ends do not overflow the pit’s edges.
- Do not put paper or waste in the fire. Burning fragments might readily fly away and provide remote fire dangers.
- About an hour before you want to go inside, stop adding wood to the fire. This allows the flames to go down, making the final dousing simpler.
- Water the mulch regularly, as mulch is an essential fuel source for flames.
- Store combustible things, such as outdoor furniture and cushions away from a fire pit.
- Never leave your fire pit unattended while burning.
- Do not throw cigarette butts into mulch and prevent your visitors from doing so.
- Avoid rubber mulches. They are flammable and can catch fire from burning fragments instantly.
- Always keep your fire extinguisher nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How far my fire pit is located from my house?
As a general guideline, you should keep your fire pit at least 10 feet away from your house, storage shed, fence, or other structures or habitation.
Is it OK to install a fire pit on my deck?
If your deck is linked to your house (or within 10 feet of it), the answer is no. If you have a deck space in your yard away from home, you may install a fire pit with sufficient heat transfer protection.
How can I light a fire in my fire pit?
The right ingredients are essential for lighting a fire in your fire pit. Put your lighter fluid and gasoline away — they are harmful and emit toxic fumes, and you don’t need them! Instead, obtain a lighter, some tinder, small branches, or seasoned dry firewood.
What should you place in the fire pit’s bottom?
For your fire pit, start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit and then cover it with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones, or even bricks. Alternatively, you could just use dirt.
What is the best way to prepare the ground for a fire pit?
Remove all grass and plant stuff. Excavate about 8 inches of earth, making that the pit’s bottom is level and the soil is compact.
Is it possible to construct a fire pit on dirt?
Yes, you can construct a fire pit out of the dirt. Check that the dirt is compacted and level.
What is the best base for a fire pit?
You have various alternatives. Plain dirt is great, but sand sprinkled with gravel creates a more appealing base.