Are you wondering where to put your fire pit? Do you have a great backyard that’s mostly grass. Are you wondering if fire pits go on grass, and if so, how can you do it safely?
Fire pits can be placed directly on top of grass. However, without proper precaution, there can be major damage to the grass. It is recommended to place a mat or other material underneath to avoid damage.
You should also move the fire pit around regularly, water the grass before using the fire pit, and purchase an elevated fire pit with a spark screen.
If you are ready to learn about how to put a fire pit on grass successfully, you have come to the right place. We will be discussing how you can place a fire pit on top of your grass backyard quickly, easily, and most importantly — safely. We will also be sharing other important information as well as product reviews to get you started.
Can You Put a Fire Pit on Grass?
It’s true that you can put a fire pit on top of grass. There are some issues that you should keep in mind though.
The main concern is obviously safety, with the other concern being damage to the grass. Luckily, there are some great ways to not only protect your grassy yard but to keep everyone (and everything) safe.
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Should You Put a Fire Pit on Grass?
Have you ever heard the saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”? The phrase can be used perfectly in this situation. Just because you can place a fire pit directly on grass, it doesn’t mean you necessarily should.
If you find a level area that is a safe distance away from anything flammable, then you can safely use your fire pit directly on top of grass. The major issue is damage to the lawn, with the biggest issue being heat stress.
Heat stress is a major contributor to grass issues, both cosmetically and health-wise. Now, every lawn is going to be affected by some type of heat stress during the summer seasons. This is because the excessively high temperatures and overall dryness weaken the grass and make it more difficult to grow. It can also increase weed production and make it more susceptible to insects and diseases.
But the warmth of summer is nothing compared to the extreme heat put off by a fire pit, which is why heat stress is such a major factor when it comes to placing it directly on top of grass. The extremely high temperatures will undeniably destroy the grass beneath it, and over time, may end up killing it entirely due to the heat and lack of moisture.
The other issue is ghost prints. When something is left on grass for an extended period of time, the grass won’t recover as quickly. The pressure from the item makes it difficult for the grass to “pop up” and be healthy again. The result is flattened, discolored grass that is truly unsightly — and it can occur from a fire pit.
This area is an example. We usually have our open trailer here and the “grass” area is gone. Technically, this is ground cover full of weeds, but that’s for another post.
If you don’t want to completely destroy an area of your grass, it’s important to find ways to protect it. This next section will describe quick and easy ways to keep your grass looking fresh and beautiful, even when there is a fire pit placed on top of it.
Protect Your Grass From Fire Pit Damage
The easiest way to protect your grass from damage, such as scorch marks, compression, and heat stress, is to place something underneath the fire pit. Not only will this allow the grass to stave off potential damage, but it will also offer a level surface.
- You want to find a level area for your fire pit. When the ground is uneven, the fire pit won’t be able to stand correctly, and it will be at risk of toppling over. This is obviously a major safety hazard as it can spark a fire or even injure an individual who is sitting or walking nearby.
- Make sure you have enough space. Another thing to consider when choosing a barrier is that it is big enough to allow for some space between the support and the edge of the barrier. Without this leeway space, the fire pit is at risk of falling off of the barrier entirely. This could lead to injuries or damage to the grass.
What to Use to Stabilize Your Fire Pit
Luckily there are many different materials that can be used as a stabilizer for the fire pit and a protector for grass. The most important thing to remember is that any material that is used should be fire-resistant. Here are a few great options:
- Patio Slabs or Brick Pavers
One simple and cost-effective solution is to use patio slabs or brick pavers. You can pick up a few at a local hardware store and place them underneath the fire pit. When you’re done using the fire pit, move them off of the grass to further protect the grass from becoming damaged.
Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to move them when you’re done. This simply lessens the chance of compression or other unwanted effects on the grass.)
- Heat Shield
A heat shield is exactly how it sounds — it shields surfaces from heat damage and can be used on any type of flooring, whether grass, concrete, wood, and more. Place the heat shield underneath the fire pit, and you won’t have to worry about the heat from the fire pit, destroying the grass. We recommend the A-Team Performance Heat Shield as it provides a barrier for up to 2,000 degrees and is fairly cheap, too.
We ended up getting this one since we keep our fire pit on the deck and have a smaller fire pit.
It’s a 32″ fire proof mat. As you can see, it might be a little smaller than it should be to make sure it covers any flying embers, but it works for our small fire pit.
- Fire-Resistant Mat
While heat shields are a great choice, they can be a bit on the bulky side. For something leaner and easier to maneuver, consider a fire-resistant mat, such as the Ember Mat by Campfire Defender Protect Preserve.
These types of mats are highly portable but don’t skimp of quality or size. In fact, most of the time, they are larger than heat shields and can act more as a rug.
Other Options for Protecting Your Grass from Fire
If you don’t want to have to go out and purchase something extra to place under your fire pit, then don’t worry — they aren’t entirely necessary.
However, without anything underneath the fire pit, you are risking damage to the grass. Eventually, the grass may end up turning an undesirable brown color from the excessive heat.
Soak the Ground with Water
One other easy way to combat heat stress is to simply wet the grass before placing the fire pit down. You will want to ensure that the grass is liberally covered with water — enough to protect it from extensive levels of heat.
Avoid saturating or soaking the grass that it becomes waterlogged, though, otherwise it may not be able to provide a solid, sound place to put a fire pit.
Wetting the grass is the cheapest and easiest solution to avoiding damage to your yard. It works because as the fire pit begins to warm up, the water will evaporate before any damage to the grass can occur.
Move the Fire Pit Around
Placing the fire pit in a single location will end up leading to compression, which can damage and destroy the grass. To avoid compression, simply move the fire pit around the yard, always ensuring it is in a safe location.
Fixing Grass That’s Been Damaged by a Fire Pit
The first thing you need to do is to remove the fire pit from the damaged grassy area. Then, assess how much damage has actually occurred on the lawn. If it’s minimal damage to a small area of the yard, then you can simply leave it alone.
The grass should come back to normal within a week or two as long as it’s left alone and is watered regularly.
Grass that has been heavily damaged will need more care. In some cases, the grass will need to be re-seeded entirely. You also have the option of replacing with sod or transplanting entirely new grass to the single, damaged location.
Fire Pit Safety Measures to Consider
Whether you have a mat underneath the fire pit or not, there are certain safety measures to think about and plan for when placing it. Here are some of the most important things to remember when placing your fire pit:
Look at the Surroundings
It doesn’t matter if the fire pit is plopping directly on top of the grass in the middle of your backyard or if you’re bringing the fire pit along on a camping trip. No matter the circumstances, you must always assess your surroundings.
There should always be enough distance between the fire pit and any nearby structures or trees. Without doing so, you are placing yourself at risk of sparking a fire.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that the fire pit should be:
- At least 20-25 feet away from any structures or items that could catch on fire, and
- At least 10-15 feet from tree branches.
Make sure you also remove any dead grass, pine cones, or other flammable materials surrounding the area where you will place your fire pit on the grass.
There should be a cleared area at least 10 feet across for safety and protection. Make sure that these materials are bagged and removed far from the fire pit.
Make sure the grass isn’t dried out, either. Dry grass has a higher tendency to catch on fire, and don’t think that grass can’t dry out in chilly winter months. Make sure that dry grass is raked, especially if you have just mowed the lawn, and leftover scraps may be present.
Level Out the Area
We touched a bit on this previously, but it is so essential we thought we’d mention it again — always find a level spot – or make one – to place your fit pit. This is simply due to the fact that you don’t want your fire pit to accidentally tip over.
Should the fire pit get knocked over, embers will fly in all directions, and this could injure an individual sitting or walking nearby while also potentially causing damage to the grass; in worse case scenarios, a fire could erupt.
If you’re using barriers, you will need to double-check for stabilization after placing the fire pit on top. Sometimes, if barriers such as bricks or patio slabs aren’t placed properly, your fire pit can end up being wobbly when it was otherwise leveled on the grass.
Don’t Leave the Fire Pit Unattended
When owning and operating a fire pit, one should never leave the fire pit unattended. Even at the end of the night, when the party’s over, the fire pit should not be left unattended while the fire goes out. Before leaving the fire pit, make sure all of the embers have either gone out by themselves, or they are manually put out with a bucket of water.
Be Prepared at All Times
You can’t predict the future. If debris goes flying out of the fire pit and lands on something flammable, or someone accidentally tips over the entirety of the fire pit, you need to be prepared. With this in mind, one should always have a hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.
Avoid Adding Fuel to Your Fire Pit
It may be tempting to use lighter fluid or other fuels to start up your fire in the fire pit, but they should be avoided at all costs. These types of fuels can end up causing huge fires that you are unprepared for. When this occurs, there is a high chance that the fire will spread outside of the fire pit, which is something that should be avoided.
If your fire is struggling, there are far better options that will keep you, your company, and your grass safe from potential fire and burns. A fire starter is an excellent solution and something you may want to have on hand at all times anyways. However, you can also use twigs, wood shavings, or newspaper to kick up the flames (safely).
Buy the Right Fire Pit
High-quality fire pits are going to be far more successful on your grass than a cheaper model. A good fire pit will be constructed using higher quality materials that will allow it to refrain from being toppled over as easy. It will also last much longer than a cheaper model to provide years of fun times.
Purchase a raised fire pit, too. A fire pit that touches the grass will have a higher chance of damaging the grass beneath it. It’s best to opt for raised fire pits when you’re placing directly onto the lawn.
Use a Spark Screen
Once the fire in the fire pit is roaring along nicely, place a spark screen on top. The spark screen will work to conceal sparks from flying out from the fire pit, which provides additional protection to the grass sitting underneath. You will still be able to see, feel, and enjoy the flames, all while protecting your surrounding lawn from unnecessary and unwanted burns.
Fire Pit Recommendations
Some fire pits just work better than others when it comes to being placed on top of grass. We have extensively researched to find the top two products on the market. Both of these fire pits have been noted as safer and easier on grass, so you can feel more confident in lawn protection.
Pop-up fire pits are generally going to be easier on grass than other models because they are lean, lightweight, and can be set up and put away with ease. We recommend the Pop-Up Fire Pit by Fireside Outdoor because it has a 4.5-star rating, raving reviews, and is priced right for under $200.
Some of the top features this pop-up design have to offer includes:
- Works with wood or charcoal
- Sets up in under 60 seconds without the need for any tools
- Burned on top of a stainless steel mesh, the fire stays alive with good airflow and little smoke
- Golds up to 125 pounds of weight
- Doesn’t allow ash to fall through
- Plenty of burn area with a safe, elevated base
Don’t care for pop-up fire pits? Look no further than the KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit. This fire pit may be a bit more susceptible to compressing the lawn, but by moving it around regularly, you can avoid this issue. This top-of-the-line fire pit is less than $100 and has a 4.5-star rating with over 700 positive reviews.
- Easy set up and is highly durable and reliable
- It is elevated off the ground, making it a safe pick for placing on top of the grass
- As an extra bonus, this fire pit comes complete with a spark screen, so you don’t have to worry about pesky embers or debris damaging the surrounding lawn.
You can place a fire pit directly on top of the grass, but it’s recommended to do a little more work to provide protection for the grass. The easiest ways to protect grass from damage is to water it before placing the fire pit down, move the fire pit around regularly, and purchase an elevated model. For superior protection, consider a mat underneath the fire pit.