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Things You Can and Can’t Burn in a Fire Pit

burning material in fire pit

Fire is more than just light and warmth. Fire is a powerful, magical, and important element in the lives of all living things. Our species’ evolution has been greatly affected by our mastery over fire. Perhaps that is why we are so intrigued by the crackling of logs, crackling flames and woody scent that fire spreads.

Fire pits are great for creating a cozy atmosphere in the garden or on the terrace when it gets cold. We’ll tell you what materials can be used in the garden, and how to safely operate your fire-pit.

Things You Can Put in a Garden fire Pit

  • Hardwood is the best fuel
  • Softwood is less efficient and produces sparks.
  • The wood must be dried
  • Charcoal can also be used in solid metal fire bowls
  • It is not permissible to burn household and garden waste.

The Following Fuels are Ideal for Fir Pits

Dry wood

Dry hardwoods such as oak and beech are the best for lighting your fire pit. However, all kinds of fruit trees can also be used to fuel your fire pit. Softwoods like pine, spruce and fir have a shorter burning period and are more flexible. Increasing sparks can be caused by a high resin content.

The wood’s storage time is even more important than its type. Wood must be completely dry. Otherwise, it will smoke a lot and not want to burn. You should cut thicker branches from trees that you have grown in your garden and store them for at least two years before you burn them. You should ask about the storage time and inspect the logs before purchasing firewood at a hardware store.


Charcoal can be used in a firepit as well. Charcoal does not glow in front of itself, and it doesn’t burn with a flickering flame. Wood is a better choice for anyone who values ambience. Grilling is made easy with charcoal.

The combustion of charcoal produces a lot of heat. These temperatures can be withstood by a fire pit made from stainless steel. Clay braziers should not be heated with charcoal, as they can crack or break.

Proper Ignition Technique

Dry wood chips (Kindling) are a good choice to get the fire started. These chips burn quickly, and the flames spread quickly to larger logs. Avoid the use of any heavily flammable accelerants such as petrol or white spirits. Only use recommended fire starter cubes or logs.

Things You Can’t Burn in a Fire Pit at Home

Fresh Wood or Garden Waste

burning garden waste

Damp wood doesn’t burn; it smokes. Fresh branches and twigs should not be burned in a fire pit. Burning green garden waste, such as moist grass clippings and hedge clippings or leaves, can cause more smoke and stench. These materials should not be used for burning fuel.

With that said, there are no laws against this burning practice in the UK – within reason. But it’s not the type of material you want to burn if you’re using your fire pit for a relaxing night in the garden.

Before you decide to burn your garden vegetation waste, make sure you find out the regulations. These rules can be very different. Learn which materials are allowed to be burned and when.

Household waste

When you light a fire, it is a no-go to use paper, cardboard, or plastic. Although it may sound appealing to burn household waste, this is strictly forbidden.

The air and soil are polluted by garbage that is burned such as plastics. It also releases harmful gases into the air and the smell will upset your neighbours. Incinerating your rubbish is never something you should consider.

Treated wood

Also, varnished boards, chipboard, MDF boards, chipboard, and other words such as cupboard doors have a plastic vinyl wrap and contain toxic components that should not be burnt in the garden. You can dispose of pressed, varnished or coated wood materials at the recycling centre. Although they look like wood, often this is a plastic woodlike effect coating, and not at all suitable for burning.

Instead of Burning Vegetation, Compost

Incineration is not the best option for garden waste. They can be made into fertilizer if you use the correct method. The compost can be mixed with finer materials like grass clippings, twigs, and leaves. First, chop up any branches and twigs that are thicker.

Don’t Use a Fire Pit During…

stable base for fire bowl

Local Summer Drought

Your lawn hasn’t seen rain in weeks, and it is browner than usual despite the regular rains. You should not use your fire pit during dry times and you should also avoid grilling. The almost inevitable flying sparks could set your whole garden ablaze.

However, it is possible to have different results on large areas of paved land that are sufficiently far from combustibles. It is essential to have the right extinguishing agent on hand at all times.

Strong wind

An open fire can quickly turn dangerous in stormy weather. A gust of wind can blow into the embers and cause sparks to fly up, which could ignite a surface. Your fire pit should remain cool in windy conditions.

It is best to pay attention to wind direction when there is only a slight breeze. You should set up the fire pit so your neighbours don’t get disturbed by the smoke.

Too close to the house

A romantic ambience can be achieved by a roaring fire on the patio or decking area. It is important to keep the building and its ancillary buildings at a safe distance. Plastic PVC windows have been known to melt, rubber seals deform, and even embers make their way through vents, so keep your fire pit as far away from buildings, fencing, and other garden furniture as possible.

Fire Pit safety

  • Make sure you set up the fire pit correctly
  • You should choose a sturdy, stable model that has a solid footing.
  • Make sure you have enough space between your house and any outbuildings, such as garages or tool sheds, when setting up.
  • It must be clear enough to access the garden furniture.
  • The fire bowl cannot be used under a tree, awning, or parasol.
  • Place on a fireproof surface, such as concrete, plaster, tiles, or tile.
  • Don’t stack the logs too high, as they can fall over and onto the ground.

Light the Fire Pit Correctly

lighting fire
  • Never fill the fire pit with too much. You must stack the logs so they do not fall out.
  • Use only dry wood
  • For lighting, only wood chips and barbecue lighters are allowed. Any kind of fire accelerator is dangerous and should be avoided.
  • After the logs have been combusted, add wood.
  • You should always have a minimum of one, or even more, fire extinguishers available. This could be a bucket of water, a bucket with sand, or a fire extinguisher.
  • Children and pets should be kept away from the fire pit.
  • Keep an eye on the fire pit until it is completely out of control and all embers are gone. You can put out the fire by adding plenty of water if you don’t mind waiting so long.