How To Put Out A Fire Pit: Safe Methods

It’s common to gather around a fire on an evening when the temperature falls. We all love the experience of gathering around a fire when it occurs during these conditions, but those who set up fires need to know how to put out a pit safely.

There are different opinions about putting out a pit fire, and each situation will call for a specific method. But there’s one way everyone can agree on: Safety first!

Can You Leave A Fire Pit Burning Overnight?

a fire pit burning overnight near the beach

Leaving a fire pit unattended and going to bed can cause many hazards. Unattended fires in fire pits hot enough to create embers can be tipped over accidentally by animals with pawing behavior or something as simple and obvious as blowing wind. If you get the embers from your fire pit to stick to something else, like grass, pine needles or even your deck, then you could have an unplanned fire on your hands.

Even with a fire pit fixed in place and unlikely to be tipped over, sparking from cooking embers mixed with nearby fuel sources could present an unintended fire risk.

In case this is your only option, it is a wise idea to keep the area around the pit clear and move away from anything that can be damaged by heat or sparks. Wetting the ground near the fire pit will help mitigate any potential fires from flammable material catching on fire.

General Safety

general safety tips for cozy family friendly fire pit ideas

Sitting around a fire is an age-old tradition that has been enjoyed by many people. There are so many different reasons why you might want to have one, whether it be for a formal occasion or just friendly get-togethers- what matters most is being able to enjoy the warmth and comfort of friends at your side as you sit in front of something magical!

Despite the potential dangers, many people are either unaware of or ignore these activities and their consequences. This usually only leads to disastrous situations – they’re just a matter of time.

The safety risks of having a fire-related activity while drinking alcohol is exacerbated by the ability to fully tolerate social overload without knowing that one has reached what law enforcement officials consider a critical level for potential impairment.

As you can imagine, anyone using fire pits is at risk of suffering life-threatening and sometimes fatal injuries. Burns, cuts, and frayed wiring are all common injuries, but these incidents can lead to much more severe problems, such as being burned alive.

These injuries and deaths are avoidable and unnecessary. However, follow some common-sense tips can make the difference between a great time around the grill to a tragedy.

Things You Will Need For General Safety

Before you start to put out your fire pit, be sure that you have the necessary gear. You’ll need these items to put away the fire and prevent any injuries safely.

Here are the things you need to get:

Heat-Resistant Mitt

heat-resistant mitt for general safety on how to put out a fire pit

In addition to a shovel and an empty bucket, it is a good idea to have heat-resistant gloves.

When it’s time to put the pit out, you’ll need something to protect your hands. You can get one mitt or two-, but a pair is easier.

Shovelshovel for general safety on how to put out a fire pit

To put out a fire in a pit without water, take the shovel and move the hot bits of coal around. Do this until there is no flame left. Use sand to cover up any remaining embers and spread them evenly with the shovel.


a bucket of water for general safety on how to put out a fire pit ideas

The ideal water source for putting out a fire pit is either a bucket or a hose. Buckets work well in controlled situations, but they won’t be effective enough during emergencies.

The best way to put out a large fire is with a hose. If necessary, you can attach the hose to a nearby tap and direct water onto the fire continually until it goes out.

You can use a simple spray nozzle that attaches to the end of your hose, which will provide custom water streams.

Sand And Dirt

fire pit with sand and dirt for general safety on how to put out a fire pit

An effective way of putting out a fire without water is by using dry sand or dirt. We recommend putting sand or dirt over the coals of the fire once it has nearly burned out to a few embers.

To ensure the fire has been put out completely, use a shovel or stick to stir together cinders, sand, and dirt, so it appears that no flames are present.

This option is a good choice if you have a metal fire pit that will serve as an outdoor fixture for many years. It’s also convenient when your garden hose cannot reach your fire pit, which may be close to the house and difficult to move.

Fire Extinguisher

fire extinguisher for general safety on how to put out a fire pit

You may think that an extinguisher is an overkill for a fire pit. However, the truth is that it isn’t needed in controlled situations.

Before the fire burns wildly and poses a threat to your safety, you must own a fire extinguisher. It’s best if you plan for those types of emergencies to have the equipment on hand.


snuffer on how to put out a fire pit ideas

There are several ways to put out a fire without using water. One way is to use a snuffer.

A snuffer serves as a cover for the top of the fire.

This type of lid will cut down oxygen to the fire and ensure it doesn’t get reignited again.

There are several types of snuffer caps available. You want a rubber one with a fully or partially solid cover to keep air from getting into the pit.

When putting out a fire hole, you should make sure the snuffer is proportional to the size of your opening.

Copper fire pits and metal fire pit covers are two great options for extinguishing fire pits. This snuffer cover or fire pit cap is a heavy-duty option that fits securely over the pit and prevents sparks from escaping, so they’re a good choice to put out a lit fire.

It is also best used in wood-burning pits with an enclosed solid burning area, such as a fire bowl or pit with a hardened lid. This will not work as the serrations will allow air to flow into the burned area and feed oxygen. It will be ineffective in a fire that does not have a well-defined circular shape.

The metal lid of these fire pits also prevents rain from entering the hole bowl. Additionally, if your pit is in the ground, this metal cover can help to prevent people and animals from accidentally falling into it while you are away.

Steps For Put Out A Wood-Burning Fire Pit

natural slate real flame fire pits on how to put out a fire pit ideas

If you are looking to create a sense of coziness or heat in your backyard, fire pits can be an excellent choice for outdoor décor.

We’ve already gone through the steps of starting a fire in your pit, and while sitting by it with friends or family can be soothing, you should never take safety precautions for granted. This article will tell you how to put out a fire pit that burns wood.

Let The Fire Die Until There’s Just Amber

This is easier than it seems unless you have young children who won’t fall asleep after a day of roasting marshmallows and s’mores. But regardless, it will take less time than you’d think to wait until the next morning when it’s safe to approach the fire pit. This is your chance to tell ghost stories or sing.

Campgrounds are naturally social, and other campers may come by to see what’s going on at your campsite. Your fire can go out without your notice before it happens!

Separate Ember And Ashes To Cool Them Quickly

For this tip, you’ll need a shovel or another long stick. If the fire is reduced to embers, or just ashes (not glowing), spread them into a circle around the edge of the pit. Leave any coals that are not touching each other and all of those unattached will extinguish quicker.

If any embers are still hot, you don’t want to put water on them because it could create steam and increase the risk of injury.

Pour Water Over The Spread-out Ashes

Once you’re confident, there are no more flames in your fire pit, pour water from a bucket over the remaining embers. Keep the bucket of liquid several feet above the fire to reduce the risks of burns from an eruption of steam and sparks.

You’ll need water for this step but use dirt instead if you don’t have any water on hand. Fire needs oxygen to survive, so you can cut off the air supply by using dirt or water.

Stir The Pit

If your fire pit is wet, use a shovel or stick to stir it. If any embers that weren’t extinguished by the first water flow are at all likely still in there, stirring will cool them down and put out the flames.

Wetting the dirt with water will double the effect of putting out any remaining fire.

Pour The Water Over The Pit Again

Once everything is mixed, carefully pour the water directly over any embers. With no oxygen left available to it, the fire will have nowhere to live.

Feel The Pit Then Repeat

You should wait before you move on to the next step! Allow your fire to cool a few minutes before moving on. After that, use your best judgment when it comes to feeling the pit for warmth. If you can’t touch the pit, repeat steps 3 and 4 until the pit has cooled off enough for you to do so comfortably. Don’t risk an injury!

It’s okay if you have to repeat until the ground is cool. You don’t need a scorched hand just to properly extinguish a flame! Don’t worry if you have to repeat it yourself because it’s better than not getting any fire out at all.

Be Sure To Check For Any Escaped Embers Or Sparks From The Fire

When sitting around a fire, unfinished embers may pop up. Generally, this is not an issue; however, if the wind picks up or you pour water over your pit without being mindful of all the embers you have left in it, some will escape and need to be put out. If you see an ember escaping the firepit, it can be extinguished with a small amount of dirt. You can also stomp on the ember as long as you wear shoes while doing so.

What About A Gas Fire Pit

outdoor gas fireplace on how to put out a fire pit ideas

Putting out a gas fire pit is much simpler than you might think. All you need to do is turn off the valve and keep an eye on any rocks or glass in its vicinity, ensuring these are cooled down before putting the cover back over.

When using a gas fire, most of the materials used with them will not take long to cool down, but you’ll need to wait until they’ve cooled to the touch. Test by hovering your hand closer to the glass or stones. If they are emitting heat, wait before covering them up.

This is mostly to prevent your cover from being damaged from the heat, not because of a fire hazard. Gas fire pits are generally safe and easy to use, but there’s always the chance for complications like gas leaks.

Selecting A Location For Your Fire Pit

white powder coated fire pit on how to put out a fire pit ideas

Before deceding a location for your fire pit, you should consider how it will impact the safety of everyone who uses this outdoor source of warmth. You’ll want to find a spot that’s safe and away from combustible objects.

  • Always check with local authorities about fire pit usage to make sure you are following the law. Some areas do not allow backyard fire pits, while others require that you follow certain rules.
  • To be safe, the fire pit should be at least 10-20 feet from any residential or outdoor structures, including trees and plantings.
  • Do not build a fire pit on unlevel ground. If the ground beneath your fire pit is not level, it could tip, and logs could roll away from the pit. Clearly, not a good idea.
  • Be sure to place your pit on a non-flammable surface, like concrete or blocks.
  • Do not have a fire pit on a wooden deck or near dry grass.
  • You shouldn’t place a fire pit within an enclosure, or under anything with an overhang or roof. That means you cannot have a firepit under a pavilion, gazebo, or pergola.
  • It’s important to be especially careful about anything flammable being near a pit. The heat of the fire can ignite even if those things never touch the flames, so plenty of space must be left between any area with alcohol or other liquids that could cause an explosion.

General Maintenance

Large gatherings tend to happen around a fire pit. When care has been taken into consideration, this is a lovely spot for evening gatherings with friends and family. As you are enjoying time around the fire, spend some of it maintaining your fire pit as well! Remove ashes and sand that might have been added during use on various occasions. It may seem counterintuitive, but it will be easier to maintain in the long run if rainwater washes away any leftovers rather than letting them stay.

When cooking over your wood-burning pit, always be diligent cleaning up to prevent residue build-up around the pit and cooking grate. You could put ash from your fire pit in your garden to keep slugs and snails away or add wood ash to the soil when planting.

Other Fire Pit Extinguishing Tips

other fire pit extinguishing tips

Prepare For The Night Ahead Of Time

It is important to keep your fire pit area clean and organized when you want to put out the flame sooner than later. Bring a large bucket or tub of water close by that you can use for quickly extinguishing any embers should they ignite. A coal shovel and fire tongs should always be available at the foot of the pit, too. Keep an eye on what kindling is burning in your fire, so it doesn’t get too hot, and remember to bring enough wood before you start building up your bonfire again.

Don’t forget about the other essential campfire items like s’mores, hot dogs, and drinks. Keep them nearby the fire or cooler for when your friends arrive at the campsite.

Keep The Right Supplies On Hand

When it comes to fire pits, safety should be your top concern. The best place for a pit is away from dry vegetation – this not only prevents the risk of catching on fire and spreading and ensures that no one can walk right into ablaze. A small bucket or jug of water near the pit always helps. When dealing with any fire, make sure you have an extinguisher nearby if anything gets out of hand.

It’s not uncommon for fires to unintentionally be sparked by a stray ember that takes flight on the wind.

To keep an ember from flying out of the fire pit, use a spark screen. After it’s been used, moving your fire pit will call for a heat-resistant mitt or heavy oven mitt on hand to handle any hot spots.

Listen To The Fire

When using water to put out the fire, listen for any sound that indicates active embers. Once you hear this sound, continue putting out the fire until no more sounds indicate thermally energized parts of the wood remain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What To Do With The Ashes From A Fire Pit?

The leftover ashes from a fire pit can be used as compost for garden plants or to fill holes in the ground. A shop vac or coal shovel are great tools for doing this, and you can either toss the ashes into the trash or spread them on your lawn for organic fertilizer.

Can You Put Out A Fire Pit With Water?

There are many ways to put out a fire pit. Some advice you may find online disagrees with the accepted norm of using water to put out a pit. If you are using a backyard fire pit, high temperatures and water can cause it to crack, warp, or break. If you are at the campsite, this is not an issue.

Since pouring water on fire can create smoke, it might be difficult to find out if anything is still burning. Walking away after having drenched all of the materials in water could leave residual embers to continue smoldering, which might ignite other materials and cause a devastating forest fire.

It’s safer to wait for the fire to go out than trying to extinguish it yourself.

The Final Word

Fire pits can be a great addition to your yard. The warmth from the fire pit brings everyone together and creates an opportunity for everyone to spend time outside.

Unlike other open fires, this fire can pose a threat to your safety as well. This is why you must learn how to put out the pit around it. It may be possible for its flames to burn uncontrollably for some reason, making sure that you are prepared.

You should have a nearby water supply and bucket or hose. The best option is the hose because it delivers more water at once. It is preferable to also use a shovel for mixing the embers in either water or sand.

Make sure to scan the surrounding area to be sure that no coals were displaced. If they are, make sure you safely put them out with dirt or water. Putting out a pit should be easy as long as you have some knowledge and the right gear.

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