How To Light A Fire Pit Safely In 5 Steps

July 28, 2022
by Dan Skewes

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A fire pit is an excellent way to enjoy a late summer evening once the sun has set.

You can sit around your cozy fire pit with your family and friends, talking into the small hours.

But it can be a little tricky to enjoy that perfect scene if you’re struggling to light your fire pit in the first place.

You certainly won’t want to stay outside for long if you don’t have anything to keep you warm!

Today, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about how to light a fire pit safely so that you can enjoy its warmth for as long as you want to stay outside.

We will also cover how to put out a fire pit’s fire safely so you can go to bed without worrying about any accidents happening while you sleep.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to light a fire for your next outdoor adventure!

Basic Fire Pit Safety

Before you get started, you’ll need to follow basic fire pit safety.

This will basically mean building your fire pit at a minimum distance of 10 feet from your house or anything nearby that could catch fire.

You should also be wary of any windy conditions that could blow flames towards any flammable objects.

You will also want to be careful of any kids, people, or pets that get too close to the fire pit in case a sudden gust of wind blows the flames their way.

It is also important to remember never to use gasoline or anything that could be toxic to try and either start or maintain your fire.

Make Sure That You Have All The Materials You Need

In order to craft the perfect fire in your fire pit, you will need to ensure that you have all of the materials that you need on hand. You will need:

Kindling And Tinder

This is the smaller material that will be used to help the flames catch.

Once you’ve got your kindling and tinder going, they will maintain the fire long enough for the firewood to catch properly and stay lit.

Kindling and tinder usually consist of smaller twigs, dry sticks, leaves, shaved bark, cut grass, old newspaper, or other small flammable materials.

Without appropriate kindling and tinder, your fire won’t stay lit.


You will need to ensure that you have appropriate firewood to use.

This will typically include dry logs that you have either cut yourself or bought from your grocery store.

Something To Start Your Fire

Matches should be more than enough for this, but you can also opt for a long-handled lighter if you want to get into the heart of your kindling and firewood.

Build Your Fire

Fire pit in a backyard

Now comes the fun bit! You will need to carefully arrange your kindling, tinder, and firewood to give your fire pit the best chance of lighting.

We would recommend trying to stack your firewood like Jenga blocks and then filling this in with kindling and tinder.

Start with two blocks of firewood lying parallel to each other, and then place two more blocks lying across these in the opposite direction, forming a square.

Stack another two blocks of firewood in the same direction as the first blocks so that you form a sort of tower of wood.

Inside your tower of wood, there should be a small opening where you can then place your kindling and tinder.

Try to arrange the kindling so that it’s touching the firewood in diagonal rows, one twig leaning against one side of the firewood stack, with the twig placed next to it facing the opposite direction.

Once you have finished building your fire, you can start to light it!

Light And Monitor Your Fire

You will need your matches or a long-handled lighter to hand for this step.

Use these to light the kindling and tinder, giving it a minute or two to catch properly.

It shouldn’t take long for the fire to get going if you have followed the above steps correctly.

Make sure to monitor your fire once it has been lit so as to prevent it from going out.

If this happens, you will need to add more kindling to your fire.

You may also need to examine your stacked firewood to ensure that there is proper airflow in place.

Once the fire pit is lit and minding its own business, you can leave it to do its thing while you enjoy its warmth!

Putting Out A Fire Pit Fire

In the majority of cases, you can leave your fire to die out before the end of the evening.

However, in case of an emergency, it is always crucial to know how to properly extinguish a fire to prevent any unwanted accidents.

If you can see the fire starting to die out, but there are still a few embers lingering, you can cover them with water, ash, or sand that you have to hand.

This should be more than enough to keep a handle on your fire pit so that it doesn’t go out of control when you turn your back.

You can also use these methods to extinguish your fire pit’s fire immediately if it’s getting out of control.

For the best results, you should use a fire extinguisher.

How To Light A Fire Pit Summary

So there you have it! You now know everything that there is to know about safely lighting a fire pit, as well as how to put it out when you’re finished.

It all comes down to the technique you use for stacking your fire in the fire pit, as well as the materials you use.

You should always make sure to follow basic fire safety, too, to prevent any accidents.

Make sure you have the right kindling, tinder, and firewood to hand to build your fire.

Stacking your firewood in a square formation will also be best, then putting your kindling and tinder in the middle.

You can then use matches or a long-handled lighter to start your fire.

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