There’s nothing quite like sitting peacefully around a fire and spending time with those you love. And with the help of a fire pit ring, you don’t need to wait for a camping trip to experience it. The question is, how can you safely mimic the campfire experience at home? The simple answer: with a fire pit ring.
A fire pit ring is a circular metal or stone structure placed on the ground, surrounding a fire to contain it. These structures help prevent fires from spreading and causing disastrous outcomes. However, from a safety point of view, they can get quite hot, which can cause burn wounds if you’re not careful.
What is the Difference Between a Fire Pit and a Fire Pit “Ring”?
If you’re looking to create a fire-containing structure in your yard, there are a few options you can choose from. These include fire pits, fire pit rings, and fireplaces. Of course, fire pits and fire pit rings are different.
- Made of metal, stainless steel, or stone,
- A permanent, portable, or mobile structure, and
- A hole dug in the ground or an elevated design.
A fire pit ring is a bottomless ring-like structure used to contain a fire and its content. It can be:
- Made of metal or stone,
- A permanent or mobile design,
- Placed in a fire pit to protect the structure from heat or fire damage, and
- Used on its own around a campfire or fire made directly on the ground.
What Does a Fire Pit Ring Actually Do? (It’s Main Purpose)
The primary purpose of a fire pit ring depends on what structure you already have in your yard. For example, do you already have a fire pit or not? And if you do, what is it made of? These answers will determine the fire ring’s purpose for your family.
The two main purposes of fire pit rings are to:
- contain fires that prevent them from turning into wildfires and
- protect fire pit structures like stone, mortar, and masonry.
So, it all depends on what your personal needs are. Suppose you don’t have a fire pit at home but want a structure to contain the fire. Then the fire pit ring will act as a barrier to prevent logs from falling over, which ensures that the fire doesn’t rage and cause a wildfire. It will also prevent sparks from flying around that might burn people sitting close to the fire.
On the other hand, suppose you already have a fire pit. Then, a fire ring will add as a protective barrier to prevent the fire pit materials from getting heat damaged. So, it will ensure the longevity of your fire pit by concealing the heat.
Are Fire Rings or Fire Pit Rings Safe?
When it comes to open fires, safety should be on the top of the list of considerations, especially if you use added structures like a fire ring. So, it’s a good idea to think about how safe it will be for your family, home structure, yard, and surroundings.
Generally, fire rings are safe to use if you keep certain safety precautions in mind. They already serve as an added safety measure to open campfires but can pose a few risks. These risks are:
1) Sparks and debris escape from the ring: Because there is no mesh or lid over the fire ring, sparks can fly and burn people, animals, or objects nearby. Of course, it’s already less likely than having an open fire, but the risk persists.
To prevent this, ensure the fire ring is large enough to contain the type of fire you plan on making.
2) The ring can get extremely hot: A fire pit ring is continuously exposed to flames, which can get extremely hot. This heat radiates to the surrounding area and can melt plastic and burn the grass and people who touch it.
To keep this from happening, you can place concrete slabs under the ring and ensure people don’t touch it.
3) Fire rings are tripping hazards: Typically, they sit low on the ground, making them easy to trip over. In turn, it can cause serious burn wounds to whoever tripped.
This precaution would be to create a barricade around the fire pit ring to keep children and animals from getting too close.
4) Galvanized fire rings can be toxic: Most galvanized fire rings have a zinc coating, which burns off and forms a zinc-oxide gas. If it is indoors or in an area that doesn’t get proper airflow, people inhale it and risk getting metal fume fever (MFF), causing flu-like symptoms.
It will help if you don’t place a fire ring indoors or on a semi-enclosed patio to prevent this. That way, the zinc-oxide won’t accumulate and cause MFF.
5) A fire ring too close to your home can be dangerous: When a fire ring is too close to your home or overhanging trees, sparks can fly and cause a runaway fire. While it isn’t highly likely to happen, the risk persists.
So, keeping your fire pit ring at least 10-20 feet away from your home or overhanging trees is a good idea.
6) Plants can get damaged if a fire ring is too close to them: This risk isn’t necessarily dangerous to the family, but plants can get damaged if the fire pit is too close. Because of the high heat radiating from the pit ring, close proximity to plants can cause heat damage. So, ensure you keep your plant life at a safe distance from the ring.
When is a Fire Ring Necessary?
Do you always need a fire pit ring to have a cozy fire in your backyard? To answer the question, think about what you already have.
You don’t always need a fire pit ring, but it’s necessary if you want to protect your fire pit or contain an open fire.
If you already have a fire pit, a ring would help increase the longevity of the materials it’s made of, making it last longer. And if you plan on making an open fire on the ground, like a campfire, a fire ring would help contain the fire, preventing wildfires.
How Expensive are Fire Rings? (Ranges, Quality, Materials)
If you want a fire ring, you can opt to make one yourself or buy one instead. And when you want to buy a fire pit ring, there are many different options.
The price of fire pit rings ranges from $21.99-$535. Of course, it all depends on the quality of materials, size, brand, and customizability. Below are the details about the top ten best-selling fire rings on Amazon:
Galvanized alloy steel
Heavy duty alloy steel, metal
Heavy duty alloy steel
Choose between 33-, 38-, and 46-inch diameters.
Heavy duty alloy steel
Heavy duty alloy steel
Alloy steel, metal, stone
Heavy duty alloy steel, metal
How Long Do Fire Rings Last?… In General!
When you make any purchase, you probably want the item to last as long as possible. That way, you get your money’s worth. So, how long a fire ring lasts could impact whether you decide to buy it or not.
Generally, fire rings last one year to a lifetime, depending on how well you maintain them. If you don’t apply proper care to your fire ring, it will get weather damage and start to rust, decreasing its lifespan. However, if you maintain it properly, it could last you a lifetime.
Of course, that also depends on the fire ring you buy. Fire pit rings made of thicker alloy steel will take longer to rust than thinner sheets. At the same time, the galvanized alloy has a rust-resistant layer that will protect the ring for longer.
How Difficult is it to Clean and Maintain a Fire Ring? And Make Them Last Longer!
Maintenance is something you should consider before you commit to buying a fire ring. The better you maintain it, the longer it will last.
It isn’t difficult to maintain and clean a fire pit ring if you are consistent in the following:
- Remove the ashes once you’re finished,
- Clean the fire ring with a brush and cloth afterward,
- Don’t burn all sorts of items, especially not rotten wood; only dry, untreated wood,
- Store the fire ring away or cover it to protect it from harsh weather conditions, and
- Remove rust when you see it naturally with vinegar or with commercial rust remover.
So, if you follow these cleaning practices regularly, or every time you’ve used the fire ring, it will be easy to maintain. However, if you only do these steps once in a blue moon, keeping clean might be more difficult.
Your fire pit is a designated space to make a fire at home. At the same time, a fire pit ring is an excellent way to keep your cozy home or campfires contained and serve as a protective barrier for your fire pit.
And while these rings are generally safe to use, you should consider safety precautions. These include proximity to your home and plants, airflow, and access for children and pets. But if you have all those in place, you should be ready to go.
Of course, you don’t always need a fire pit, so ask yourself whether it is necessary or not. You can go the expensive or expensive route if you want to buy one. It all depends on your personal needs.
Finally, looking after the things you buy is always a good idea. The better you care for and maintain your fire pit ring, the longer it will last.