There’s no place like home – especially during this unusual summer.
If you’re battling boredom as the pandemic continues, installing a backyard fire pit is a surefire way to maximize outdoor living space and enjoy the rest of the summer. Whether you like to crack a beer, roast marshmallows or tell ghost stories around a crackling blaze, the easy addition is destined to become a neighborhood favorite.
To spark inspiration, an expert from Home Depot chatted with Fox News about why backyard fire pits are a great way to get out of the house while sticking closer to home, revealing what makes some of the most popular styles great and sharing some must-know tips for safe setup.
Kaley Galinsky is an Associate Merchant Fire at Home Depot, specializing in fire pits, fireplaces, patio heaters and accessories.
Fire pits come in dozens of styles, shapes, and materials, Galinsky said, making it easy to match outdoor options with interior aesthetics for a true backyard oasis.
“Many customers use their yards or outdoor spaces as an extension to their indoor entertainment area,” she explained.
According to the home improvement retail expert, four top choices include wood fire pits, gas fire pits, chimineas and outdoor fireplaces.
Wood fire pits are “typically the most affordable options and quickest to install,” Galinsky said, and can produce more heat than propane or natural gas. They’re also good for an open design layout.
Another customer favorite is the gas fire pit, which she touted as a convenient choice that’s easy to maintain and comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. To go bold with the smokeless option for a special get-together or extra entertainment, add fire glass.
“You can add fire glass to some types of gas fire pits,” the expert suggested. “This is a fun way to add color and the flames look like they’re dancing on the glass.”
The classic chiminea, the Spanish word for chimney, burns by design like a fireplace, Galinsky shared. Traditionally made of clay, cast iron or cast aluminum, the vertical stacks “allow the smoke to vent upward.”
Finally, the ever-versatile outdoor fireplace can burn propane, natural gas, or wood, and quickly cozy up the ambiance of an outdoor area.
“It helps create a cozy environment, are great for more intimate seating arrangements, and can become a focal point in an outdoor area,” Galinsky explained.
Of course, fire fanatics of all ages should always be cautious around open flames.
“Fire pits should be placed at a safe distance away from your house and neighbors' yards,” Galinsky advised, adding that outdoor fire pits should not be placed near overhanging branches, fences or other structures.
“Never leave a fire unattended,” she continued, noting that that chairs and other seating should be set a careful distance away.
Finally, when prepping for an epic blaze, be cautious of wind conditions and conscientious of any local ordinances.