Fire pits are the perfect way to keep warm in your garden. Gathering around a firepit is the best way to enjoy winter nights (or even chilly summer ones too!). Read on for a complete guide on how to safely and effectively light your fire pit. 

An alternative that would require less safety measures can be found with patio heaters.

Fire Pit


The number one priority when it comes to lighting a fire pit is safety. However, if you follow this checklist you will always be safe and prepared.

  1. First, you need to check the location of your fire pit. Most fire pits will be portable so ensure you set it up with a suitable distance between the fire pit and any buildings or combustible material. Keep in mind the wind direction as this can blow sparks further. 
  2. Second, prepare for the situation where the fire might need putting out. This could be if it spills out of the fire pit or grows too large. For this you should have a fire extinguisher, bucket of sand or bucket of water handy. 
  3. Third, check who is going to be around the fire pit. Take extra care with children and pets to keep them away from the fire
  4. Fourth, do not use petrol to light the fire. This could make the fire spread out of control and release dangerous fumes. 
  5. Fifth, never leave the fire unattended. This is the best way to avoid any problems and be ready to react to any that might occur.

Lighting the Fire

There are multiple options for the materials you can burn in a fire pit.

For an easy and effort free fire pit, instant light fire logs or swedish fire logs are the choice for you. All you need to get an instant light fire log burning is to light the bag that the log comes in. This will burn and light the log inside which will burn for 2 to 3 hours. This is the perfect choice for if you don’t have any kindling or fire lighters. 

Swedish fire logs, also known as Swedish fire torches, are an eye catching source of light and heat. To light them, stuff fire lighters into the slot in the middle alongside some kindling and light it.

For a more traditional and manual approach to igniting an outdoor fire pit, you will need to gather a variety of materials:

  • Fire Lighter – Fire starters are great for getting those first few flames going to build up the rest of your fire. 
  • Tinder – Tinder is the next level up, usually small twigs, scrunched up newspaper or wood shavings
  • Kindling – Smaller twigs and sticks that will burn for longer than the fire lighter and get the logs burning
  • Logs – Large logs of wood that will burn for a long time and keep the heat going long into the night

To build up your fire using these materials there are some things you have to keep in mind. First, build up the materials so they burn in order of size. Start with the fire lighters, then the tinder, then the kindling, then the logs. Another thing to keep in mind is air flow. Fire requires a steady source of oxygen so don’t overbuild your fire with too many logs. The best way to make sure you have enough air flow is to arrange your kindling and logs in a loose cone shape.

Fire Pit

Putting Out the Fire

Finally, you will need to put out your fire. As mentioned earlier this can be done with a fire extinguisher, bucket of sand or bucket of water in emergencies. However, most often it will probably just die out by itself. You might still want to use sand or water to ensure there are no embers left behind.