The crackling sound of a roaring fire can give any backyard the ambiance it needs to become an oasis for summer, fall or any season.
While there’s a lot that goes into installing a fire pit, one sometimes overlooked feature that is critical to remember is the pit’s ventilation system.
Why it’s important to add fire pit ventilation
The ventilation system in a fire pit helps release excess gasses from the enclosure. Proper ventilation systems can also help remove excessive heat and provide fresh air for the burner.
For propane fire pits, ventilation is crucial. Without it, the propane gas, which is heavier than air, can sink to the bottom of the cabinet and become trapped.
If a spark hits the stored gas or the heat inside the pit becomes too high, the gas could catch fire and explode. This could cause damage to the fire pit and risk of injury or even death.
While natural gas doesn’t weigh as much as propane, there is still the risk of a gas leak from the supply lines or connection points, which may result in a build up within the cabinet or structure. Proper ventilation in any fire pit, propane or natural gas, is necessary.
[box]In addition to providing ventilation, make sure to always use an appropriate filler, such as fire glass or lava stone in a gas fire pit. Other types of rock can crack or explode when exposed to heat. [/box]
Best practices for ventilating a fire pit
To do this, place two vents on opposite sides of the fire pit to allow various exit points for heat and gas. Without multiple vents, gas can still get trapped on one side due to poor airflow.
Check with the manufacturer for specific vent recommendations for the fire pit type you are constructing. Some recommend a minimum of 18 square inches of opening to provide adequate air flow and cooling for a gas burner system.
Be sure to also check to see if there are any local requirements or regulations for fire pits.
Ewing sells a variety of vents and other fire feature supplies that can help you safely complete your fire pits projects.