Don’t Undermine Enjoyment Of Your Firepit


Firepit Tips

Recently we built our own firepit area in a part of the back yard.

“Watching a fire has a calming effect.”

I don’t know why it took us so long to put this really enjoyable landscape feature into place, except that we had used a “burn pile” over the years and held fall bonfires that were also a gathering around an outdoor fire. Now, that I have experienced both, the designated space of an official firepit built into place is far superior for family enjoyment, in my opinion.

A firepit is designed to contain a fire and prevent it from spreading

After building my own, it seems I now see D-I-Y directions for these campfire arrangements everywhere. Pinterest has loads of great ideas, but in looking them over I also saw some that in certain circumstances might undermine your enjoyment of your firepit -if you used them without thinking things through.

A Cautionary Tale

Cats, But Not On Broadway

Do you own cats? Does your neighborhood have a cat population? We have a number of cats, and they use newly dug soil and try to use sandboxes for their own private latrine. What do you think I imagined when I saw this fire pit idea that mimics fun times on the beach?


Limit the use of pure sand in a back yard that regularly has visiting cats

A Few Safety Considerations

Ignoring them could undermine your good times. I have used wood fires, not gas-fueled, and that determines the safety tip list:

  • Don’t throw plastic into the fire, it could explode. Besides being hard to clean, it is hazardous to the environment.
  • Empty the ash and embers, keep it ready for good airflow in the next fire.
  • Use a screen to help contain ash and buffer the wind
  • Make sure embers are extinguished before leaving the fire for the night

Before choosing which firepit to buy or build I would consider:
Whether children would be present…
How prone my climate was to wildfire, and during what season…
Whether I hoped to cook or grill over the fire…

Freestanding Firepit?

Don’t re-purpose unstable containers as a firebowl

Most plans for a fire involve safety, and most are stable and not easily tipped. Yet this idea for re-purposing an old wheel barrow is one that is just asking for trouble. I wouldn’t think it was worth it:  too easily rusted to bolt to the ground, and if it tipped with burning coals inside, someone could get hurt or fire could spread where unwanted. I just wouldn’t chance it.


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Meet the Author


I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.