How to Put Out a Fire Pit Without Water
Tips & Tricks

How to Put Out a Fire Pit Without Water

Sitting outside around a warm fire with family and friends and enjoying each other’s company is a great way to bond. However, before heading inside or calling it a night, you must ensure you successfully extinguish the fire pit. Letting a fire burn overnight is unsafe because it might result in a dangerous house fire. 

If you enjoy your home fire pit, it’s wise to take extreme care to prevent damage and fire injuries from happening in your backyard. 

Read on to learn how you can put out a fire pit without water and some fire safety tips to protect yourself and your home:

Can You Leave a Fire Pit Burning Overnight?

Leaving a fire pit burning outside would be easier; however, it’s risky. Even a tiny ember can cause a backyard fire, especially during dry conditions. However, don’t be discouraged because there are many options to ensure you enjoy a backyard fire’s warmth and ambiance. Additionally, with a little planning, time, and some supplies, you can easily and safely put out the fire.

Remember that you don’t have to rush to put out a fire or leave it as a last-minute task. It would help if you stopped adding fuel to the fire an hour before leaving the area. Doing so allows the fire to burn naturally, making it easier to put out. 

You can use a stick or shovel to spread hot coals or logs. This process will speed up the process of putting out the fire. In addition, if the large wood or coal chunks are spread out and not touching, they won’t hold as much heat and will lessen the chances of reigniting the fire. 

After doing the above, there are several options to help you finish the job of extinguishing the fire pit. Here are some of the options:

Will Using Water to Extinguish a Fire Pit Ruin It?

Dumping water or spraying it onto your fire pit is not recommended. If you’re using a store-bought fire pit (<$100), you’ll probably only get a few seasons out of it, and it won’t hurt that much. However, if you have a more expensive setup, the drastic temperature changes could stress the steel and welds.

The steel expands as it gets hotter, and dumping water on it cools it quickly and causes the material to contract quickly. This process is known as thermal expansion and often stresses the welds or other joints. 

This concept is the same as pouring hot water into a glass sitting in the freezer; it will shatter due to thermal expansion. 

How to Put Out a Fire pit Without water

You can try the following techniques for putting out a fire pit without water. They are helpful if you’re trying to conserve water at home or if you’re afraid that the drastic temperature changes could put stress on the steel and welds of your fire pit:

Try a Snuffer

Some fire pits come with a snuffer, which you can use to extinguish the fire. Fires need oxygen to sustain themselves, and a snuffer is designed as a medal lid, which cuts off a fire’s oxygen supply. 

You can always buy a snuffer if your fire pit doesn’t have one. A snuffer works best if your pit is a solid bowl shape or any other design where airflow can be cut off from the fire. The snuffer will not be very effective if air can still reach the flames. 

Snuffers are useful because they not only snuff fires out but also function as a cover for your fire pit when it’s not in use. They also help keep out the elements or debris that might fall into your pit. You can also use it as a table if you don’t have a fire inside it. 

Cover With Sand or Dirt

You can try using dirt or sand to put out a fire that has died down using these steps:

  • First, use a shovel to scoop dry sand or dirt into your pit to extinguish the fire.
  • Next, stir it into the ash to ensure that any embers are completely gone. Be sure to check the fire and your surroundings before you leave the pit. 

If you don’t have enough sand or dirt on hand, you can also use the ash from the fire in a pinch. However, it’s best to remember that this is not the best option because it will reduce any flames but won’t reduce the heat.

Using sand or dirt is the best option if you have a metal fire pit that you plan to use for a long time. Water left in a metal pit might cause rust; therefore, it’s best to avoid using water in this fire pit. 

Turn it Off

If you have a gas fire pit, you can turn it off when you no longer need it. If your gas fire pit turns off with a key, remember not to misplace it or set it too close to the fire itself. A metal key will likely get hot over time and could burn you when you pick it up. 

It’s best to take the necessary precaution when dealing with a gas fire pit. Therefore, always check that any rocks or glass in the pit have cooled off before leaving it alone. 

Use a Fire Extinguisher

If there’s an emergency, you can use a fire extinguisher to put out your fire. Most fire extinguishers have instructions for how to use them printed on the canister. However, you can always use the P.A.S.S method below:

  • First, pull the pin to break the tamper seal.
  • Aim the nozzle or hose at the fire’s base. Please don’t touch the horn of a CO2 extinguisher because it can get cold enough to damage the skin.
  • Squeeze the handle to begin releasing the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the extinguishing agent from side to side along the fire’s base until the fire is gone. Monitor the area afterward and repeat this step if the fire comes back. 

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Enjoying an outdoor fire pit in the company of friends or family is calming and relaxing. However, it would help if you enjoyed such luxury with safety in mind. Here are some fire pit safety tips that you should practice whenever you use the fire pit:

Don’t Go Overboard With Fuel

Overloading your fire with wood or other fuel can suddenly cause it to flare up. This might catch bystanders by surprise or might even burn them. It’s best also to avoid adding flammable liquids such as kerosene, lighter fluid, or gasoline to your fire pit. Such liquids might result in your fire getting out of control and can destroy nearby structures. 

Maintain Distance From Your Home

Putting your fire pit more than the recommended distance of at least 10 to 15 feet away from residences and other structures is beneficial and will minimize fire accidents. If you can, you can increase this distance even further.

Check the Weather and Air Quality First Before Putting On a Fire

It would help if you didn’t light a fire when it’s windy because sparks can easily get carried away, start an unintentional fire in your home, or even turn into a wildfire. It’s best to check your weather forecast for strong wind advisories or other warnings before lighting a fire outside.

Don’t forget to check the air quality before starting a fire pit because recreational fires might produce particles and air pollution. If the air quality is poor when you want to start a fire, it’s better to try again on another day. 

Ensure Your Pit is on a Stable Surface

It’s best to ensure that your fire pit is on a stable, open surface. You don’t want it to tip over and start a fire on your property potentially. 

Burn Efficiently With Eco Fuels

You might enjoy the smoky scent of fire; however, wood smoke harms your health and environment. Burning wood releases particulate matter and pollutants like greenhouse gasses, but you can reduce the impact of your fire by burning hotter and more efficiently. 

You can also keep a consistent, hot temperature in your pit to reduce the negative effects by better breaking down harmful pollutants. Eco fuels such as recycled wood logs or coffee ground logs require less fuel and burn hotter.

As a result, they also produce less smoke and particle pollutants. However, if you can’t find eco fuel, use only dry, seasoned wood because it burns more efficiently and produces less smoke and emissions. 

Have a Fire Extinguisher and First Aid Kit on Hand

While fire pits are enjoyable, they’re also dangerous; therefore, keeping a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby in an emergency is best. If your fire escapes the kit, be prepared to put it quickly using the extinguisher. 

The first aid kit will also be instrumental in treating any accidental burns and minor accidents. However, remember to call 911 or go to the hospital for serious burns. 

Check this too: How to Put Out a Solo Stove

Handle Fire With Proper Equipment

It would help if you never handled fire with bare hands. Always use a log grabber or poker equipment if you need to shift wood around in the pit. Never attempt to move your pit while a fire is burning in it. Instead, extinguish the fire and wait until the pit has cooled off before moving it. 

Sitting around a pit fire with family and friends is a great way to bond. However, be sure to have the necessary precautions in place to ensure that you don’t start an unintentional fire in your home or a wildfire.