Fire's burning, fire's burning, come sing and be merry

The best part of a camping trip is sitting around the fire, enjoying the songs, stories and laughter that ensue from fellowship and family. What if you could have this feeling all the time, in your very own backyard? A firepit is a great way to enjoy the summer evenings outside; plus, a firepit is just the same, if not better, than conventional barbecues or grills. You can still have your delicious steaks and burgers, but now you can add dessert – roasted marshmallows or delicious s'mores.

A firepit can be a traditional bare patch on the lawn ringed with stones, but firepits come in different styles and types to suit your backyard/patio décor. These styles include:

  • Chimineas – a very trendy choice on today's market. Chimineas are typically made out of clay, but must be lined with sand or volcanic rock to prevent cracking in the heat. Cast-iron or copper models sustain a higher temperature. These firepits can't handle a huge fire, but you can still roast marshmallows over its dancing flames!
  • Cast-iron fireplaces – these are typically more expensive than chimineas, but will withstand higher temperatures. Design yours in a circular, rectangular or triangular style. Cast-iron firepits can be built to your specifications and include hinged doors, removable lids, safety grills, and chimney stacks. Sometimes, cast-iron fireplaces will come with cooking utensils as well.
  • Cooper fire bowls – a curved steel stand that holds the fire, often with a grate over top of the wood for grilling. An iron mesh spark guard can be fitted over the bowl.
  • Grated cylinders – can be turned into outdoor cookers with a grill cover. A grated cylinder can be made by recycling an old dryer. Simply remove the meshed cylinder drum and mount it onto a brick or concrete base. If you fill it with firewood, you have a perfect firepit.

A firepit is a wonderful backyard addition, but don't forget to be safe – get in touch with a fire marshal to double check the fire laws in your area. Also, follow these steps:

  • Keep kids and pets clear of the hot surfaces.
  • Keep clear of trees and hanging roofs.
  • Mount on a brick or concrete base.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • Keep a bucket of sand or water handy to extinguish a rogue fire.
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