If you have purchased a fire pit and want to use it on the grass lawn of your garden, then it is important to know what to put under it.
There are many reasons for putting something under a fire pit which is being used on grass, with one of the main ones being the safety of those who are going to be near the fire pit.
More specifically you want to ensure that there is no danger of the fire pit toppling over and someone getting seriously injured. Even when not in use, there is a risk of it falling over if it is not sitting level. Outdoor fire pits are generally quite light, but some are heavy too, and the last thing you want is a broken toe or seriously injured leg from an unstable fire pit landing on them.
The other obvious danger is when the fire pit is in use and the fire is burning. The risk of someone being seriously burned would be significant if your fire pit was not sitting securely. The danger is especially high if there are children playing in, or running around, your garden.
One other risk that you will want to eliminate is if the fire pit were to topple over, and all the burning materials inside were to fall out and scatter everywhere. This could present a fire risk, not only to your property, but others around you, especially if there were a breeze which could blow embers from your garden towards neighboring ones.
The main reason why you would want to have a material underneath your fire pit is to protect the grass it is sitting on. Many a beautifully cared for lawn has ended up with a patch which is discolored or burnt because a fire pit was placed directly on it. Many fire pits are made from metal which can conduct heat from the fire bowl all the way down to the base, so you need something underneath to prevent this heat from damaging your lawn
One sensible action you can take first is to make sure that the area of grass where you decide to locate your fire pit is level. This might sound blindingly obvious to you, and we agree it is, but you'd be amazed how many accidents are caused due to a fire pit toppling over because it was placed on a slope or incline.
The other action you should take prior to locating your fire pit is to clear away any debris such as grass cuttings, twigs and other debris. Apart from making the surface flatter, it also removes combustibles from around the area of the fire pit
The most effective and recommended material upon which a fire pit being used on grass should be placed, is patio slabs. These provide a very flat and stable platform upon which your fire pit can be placed. Patio slabs will also absorb any heat which is conducted or generated from the fire pit, and thus will protect your grass from scorching.
With them being flat, patio slabs will also distribute the weight of the fire pit evenly across its surface, which reduces the risk of our grass being crushed beyond its ability to recover.
Depending on the shape, size and the number of legs your firepit has, arrange the patios slabs so that each leg is standing on an individual slab. Once you are happy that the fire pit is stable, start adding wood or any other fuel which you are using. Once added, check once more that the fire pit is still sitting level, and has not moved.
When you are finished with the fire, leave the fire pit to sit on the patio slabs overnight, as they are likely to be hot. They will have cooled by the morning and you can then move them to allow your grass to recover.
Obviously, if you are going to be using your fire pit over several days you could leave it in place although this may damage the grass. A solution to this would be to move your fire pit to another flat spot close by.
What to Put Under a Fire Pit on Grass
As we’ve previously mentioned, patio slabs or brick pavers are a great suggestion when it comes to what to put under a fire pit on grass, but there are other things you can use as well. You just have to make sure that whatever it is you are planning to use as a platform for the fire pit, it should be fire-resistant or something which will not catch on fire easily.
You may also want something portable. If you plan to visit a friend for a barbecue or you are camping in the forest, it is better to have heat-resistant items where you can place your fire pit. Let’s talk about some of the other items you can use as a platform for your fire pit.
1. Heat Shields
Not everyone has patio slabs which can be used for a fire pit. If you are planning to have a camp in your yard or you want to keep the weekend barbecue going all night, investing in a heat shield is definitely the right thing to do.
Basically, heat shields are made to provide protection for patios, concrete and lawn areas, composite and wood decks, and other types of materials which might be damaged by fire or heat. No matter where you plan to use the fire pit, as long as you have a heat shield, you won’t have to worry about fire and heat damage.
- How to Use a Heat Shield
Heat shields are straightforward to use, especially since you don’t need to assemble anything. You just need to place it under the fire pit and you are good to go.
With that being said, you have to remember that a heat shield can only be used for fire pits. If you are planning to put anything hot or burning on top of it, make sure the size won’t be bigger than the heat shield.
You should also check the maximum heat capacity of the heat shield. Although heat shields are proven to withstand extremely hot surfaces, if the heat goes beyond its capacity, the heat shield itself might be damaged.
2. Fire-Resistant Mats
Heat shields can be a good choice, but they are a bit bulky if you are going to bring them on a camping trip. If you are going outside to have a barbecue or to have some fun with your friends, bringing a fire-resistant mat is the right thing to do. Here are some of its benefits:
- Highly Portable
Heat shields are portable, but a fire-resistant mat is a better choice if you are going out. You can fold it and keep it in your bag while you are traveling.
It doesn’t take too much space as it is more like a folded shirt when it is placed inside your bag. You can also roll it up if you want and it won’t be damaged.
- Perfect for Outdoors
Fire-resistant mats are easy to setup. You can just lay it down on the grass or any kind of floor and you can put the fire pit over it. This item is made to resist fire and heat, so even if you accidentally overturned the fire pit, it won’t burn the mat.
One of the main reasons a fireproof mat is a good choice is its size. Fire-resistant mats are definitely larger compared with heat shields. With patio slabs, you can create a big platform, but this kind of item is not portable.
If you are not in your house, fireproof mats are better. As a matter of fact, you can even fit three fire pits in a single mat.
How to Protect your Lawn Grass While Using a Fire Pit
When you are using a fire pit, the first thing you always need to consider is the area where you should place it. In essence, the lawn is a big no because you don’t want to leave any burn marks on the grass. When it comes to gatherings, though, homeowners prefer to have everything done on their lawn.
Well, if you want to show off, you should always do the gatherings in your lawn, but you need to be prepared. You need to know what to do to make sure your lawn won’t be damaged. Here are a few tips that you can follow:
1. Always Prepare a Hose or Extinguisher
Even if know what to put under a fire pit on grass and apply it, if you are planning to put a fire pit in your lawn, always make sure you have a hose or a fire extinguisher nearby.
This is a safety precaution in case some of the debris flies out of the fire pit into your lawn or someone accidentally tipped the fire pit over. If they are within your reach, you can prevent the fire from causing damage to your lawn.
2. Keep the Grass Under the Fire Pit Wet
If you are using a heat shield or a fireproof mat under your fire pit, make sure you keep the grass wet on the surrounding area. If the grass is wet, it will not burn easily. The grass will naturally warm up when you put the fire pit on top of it, so you just need to use the hose to keep the grass wet.
3. Never Use Lighter Fluid or Other Fuels
You should never use fuel on the fire pit to keep the fire burning since it can cause a huge fire. There is a big chance that the fire would spread around the fire pit, which is something you are trying to prevent. Just use wood shavings, dry twigs, paper, or dry leaves to keep the fire burning in your fire pit.
4. Use a High-Quality Fire Pit
The most important thing to consider is to look for a high-quality fire pit. The best fire pit is made from high-quality materials, so if you buy something cheap or low quality, there is a chance the fire pit itself will be damaged while you are using it.
Well, it is not worth it to buy something affordable, only to be broken after a couple of uses. It is still better to invest in a fire pit made from top-quality materials.
If you do not have any patio slabs or a similar non-combustible alternative, do not be tempted to use something which is neither suitable or worse, downright dangerous. Some of the crazy examples we have heard of are people placing a flowerpot under each leg, a picnic blanket, and blocks of wood. Bear in mind this is the very fuel which is burning in the fire pit, so the risks of using this, are obvious.