What is the Purpose of a Fire Pit Screen
Tips & Tricks

What is the Purpose of a Fire Pit Screen?

Did you know that if a wild or unintentional fire started by your causes, damages could cause financial liability on your part? For example, when flying sparks from your fire start unwanted fires, and if those fires cause damages, you could be personally liable.

A spark screen should always be used with an open fire pit. The screen will prevent sparks from burning those sitting around the fire, and it will also prevent escaping sparks from starting unintentional fires.

Keep reading to learn why a fire pit screen is essential.

What is the purpose of a fire pit cover?

Firepit spark screens prevent sparks and embers from breaching the pit and burning people, pets, or surrounding areas. Sparks can also land on surrounding debris such as clothing or dry leaves and ignite a fire; however, a fire screen can prevent fire hazards.

How does a spark screen work?

The screen protects you from flying sparks and may offer some protection if you bump into the fire pit. The screen may also shelter the fire from winds. The mesh cover is made for use as a screen while you are burning fire in the fire pit.

Spark arresters work on the principle of trapping or pulverizing carbon particles that have a diameter greater than 0.023 inches. Through centrifugal force, the heavier carbon particles are thrown against the inside walls of the arrester. Then they are directed into a trap. The most common screening types use a screen or a disc.

Should you put a screen over a fire pit?

Yes. It is best always to use a spark guard with your fire pit. While fire pits are an enjoyable and relaxing experience, safety should always be a top concern. Flying embers can burn people near the fire and ignite flammable items nearby. In addition, flying sparks and embers can be a nuisance and danger around the fire pit.

When shopping for fire pit spark screens, the best options will be constructed from stainless steel. Steel is stronger and conducts heat slower than many other metals.

It is also rust-proof, lending itself well for outdoor applications. But, beware, as many fire pit spark screens are constructed out of coated steel which is not an ideal Fire pit screen material.

Do’s and Don’ts of Fire Pit Safety

  1. Use the right wood: Burning softwoods, such as cedar can assist in repelling unwanted insects.
  2. Use a spark guard: use a high quality grade spark guard to retain flying sparks or embers and help contain your fire inside the pit.

Types of fire pit screens

Below are the most common Spark screen types in the market;

Dome Fire Pit Screen

The most basic design is the lift-off Dome Fire Pit Spark Screen, a semicircular fire screen protector. This screen comes with a wire mesh and handles at the top. The dome screen is more economical because there are fewer moving parts and thus easier to manufacture.

The only drawback to this particular screen is that you must remove the entire spark screen off the fire pit to tend to your fire which can be challenging because the larger screens are quite bulky and heavy.  However, it does provide excellent protection and can be a good fit for many people, especially with smaller fire pits.

Hinged Fire Pit Spark Screen

Other types of screens make tending to the fire more convenient such as the Hinged Fire Pit Screen. This fire screen features two hinged doors on the front that folds on top of itself for easy access to the fire, and the decorative handles on the front add a nice appeal when it’s closed.

Pivot Fire Pit Screen

The Pivot Fire Pit Spark Screen features a unique design that allows either end to be opened to access the whole fire pit. This makes it convenient to use from whichever side of the fire you are seated.

Square Fire Pit Screen

If you have a square-shaped fire pit, the Square Fire Pit screen is the best option. The hinged door on the front panel makes for easy fire pit management, and to make handling a breeze, it has handles on both the top of the screen and the door (access panel).

Custom Fire Pit Spark Screens

You can also get a high-quality, custom fire pit screen. This will cost you more than a standard fire pit screen. Customizing the screen lets, you get a fire pit screen that fits your fire pit.  

Check this too: What to Do with Fire Pit Charcoal

How to Make a Fire Pit Spark Screen

Start by creating a rock ring around the fire pit. This will give you a stable base for the fire screen.

Then follow the steps below to create a screen;

  • Measure the fire pit’s perimeter. It is important to determine both the size and shape of the pit so that your custom screen can be made to fit the pit exactly.
  • Get a stainless steel or iron ring with the same circumference as the pit’s measurement. This forms the base of the pit cover, so the taller the ring is, the better.
  • Weld two 1-inch-wide strips of sheet metal to the ring.
  • Each 1-inch strip should be eight inches longer than the ring’s diameter.
  • The pieces should run perpendicular to one another to form an “X” above the center of the metal ring.
  • The pieces should arc upward to form a dome that is six inches taller than the top of the ring.
  • Stretch metal hardware cloth over the frame created by the ring and sheet metal.
  • Use hardware cloth with no more than a 1/8-inch mesh opening.
  • The finer the mesh or, the smaller the openings between wires, the more effective the screen will be at stopping sparks from escaping.
  • Wrap the metal mesh around the ring. It should loop under the bottom of the ring and back up to the top.
  • Use a fine gauge metal wire, like jewelers wire, to sew the metal mesh in place.
  • The stitching should join two layers of mesh along the top of the metal ring so that the ring is enclosed in a casing of the metal mesh.
  • Screw a large metal eye into the top of the fire pit screen at the point that the two welded pieces of sheet metal cross.
  • The eye hook forms the handle to lift the fire screen off the fire.
  • Paint the final project when fully assembled.
  • Coat the entire spark screen, inside and out, with black fire-resistant paint.
  • This paint will slowly chip away with use, so re-coat the screen as often as needed to protect the metal.