Fire pits can be a fun addition to any backyard. However, before you purchase a fire pit you'll want to make sure you have done all of your research and are well informed. Kerrie Kelly wrote an article titled, "5 Designer Tips for Choosing a Fire Pit" on

1. Location, location, location!

Kelly says, " For safety and security, an outdoor fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from the house and shouldn't be placed on your wooden deck. Some communities have specific requirements about placement in relationship to the house, so check your local city or county website for details.

Next, map out the space you'll need for the fire pit itself. Outdoor fire pits are generally anywhere between 18 and 48 inches in diameter. You'll need space for people to sit comfortably around the fire, but remember that people tend to back away from fire as time progresses. Plan for an additional six to eight feet of space for chairs and movement."

2. All About That Base

(photo courtesy of

Kelly says, "Outdoor fire pits come in all kinds of shapes and sizes these days, but they boil down to three base styles:

  • An actual fire pit is dug into the ground and completed in any of several different finishes (more on that below). These are obviously permanent structures, so plan your backyard layout accordingly.
  • Coffee table fire pits resemble low tables and, when not in use, they can be covered and used as an actual table.
  • Raised bowls bring a stylish, artistic element to the space. Whether metal or concrete, deep or shallow, these simple components can be customized for exactly the look you want."

3. Find a Fabulous Finish

Kelly says, "First, decide whether a mobile or stationary unit is best for your space."

Depending on whether your fire pit is mobile or stationary, you will then be able to coordinate the appropriate finish.

(photo courtesy of

4. Fire It Up!

5. Precautions

Kelly writes, "As delightful as an outdoor fire pit is, you should never forget that you're dealing with open flames. Make sure you have a plan if things get out of hand. A strategically placed fire extinguisher is the best option here. Placing your fire pit near a hose is another great choice. If neither of those is an option, keep a bucket of sand and a bucket of water nearby. A roaring fire is that much more enjoyable when you have confidence that you are prepared to put it out, whether it spreads from its confines or you're simply ready to call it a night."