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Prevent Damage to Backyard Fire Pits with These Tips for Ventilation

By Adreana Young on November 4, 2019 in Blog1 Comment

Prevent Damage to Backyard Fire Pits with These Tips for Ventilation graphic

The crackling sound of a roaring fire can give any backyard the ambiance it needs to become an oasis for summer, fall or any season.

While there’s a lot that goes into installing a fire pit, one sometimes overlooked feature that is critical to remember is the pit’s ventilation system.

Why it’s important to add fire pit ventilation 

The ventilation system in a fire pit helps release excess gasses from the enclosure. Proper ventilation systems can also help remove excessive heat and provide fresh air for the burner.

For propane fire pits, ventilation is crucial. Without it, the propane gas, which is heavier than air, can sink to the bottom of the cabinet and become trapped.

If a spark hits the stored gas or the heat inside the pit becomes too high, the gas could catch fire and explode. This could cause damage to the fire pit and risk of injury or even death.

While natural gas doesn’t weigh as much as propane, there is still the risk of a gas leak from the supply lines or connection points, which may result in a build up within the cabinet or structure. Proper ventilation in any fire pit, propane or natural gas, is necessary.

In addition to providing ventilation, make sure to always use an appropriate filler, such as fire glass or lava stone in a gas fire pit. Other types of rock can crack or explode when exposed to heat.

Best practices for ventilating a fire pit

In order to create the safest, most functional ventilation system for your fire pit, install cross ventilation.

To do this, place two vents on opposite sides of the fire pit to allow various exit points for heat and gas. Without multiple vents, gas can still get trapped on one side due to poor airflow.

Check with the manufacturer for specific vent recommendations for the fire pit type you are constructing. Some recommend a minimum of 18 square inches of opening to provide adequate air flow and cooling for a gas burner system.

Be sure to also check to see if there are any local requirements or regulations for fire pits.


Ewing sells a variety of vents and other fire feature supplies that can help you safely complete your fire pits projects.

For more information, stop by your local Ewing store and watch this Ewing video for tips on installing a gas fire pit.

Prevent Damage to Backyard Fire Pits with These Tips for Ventilation graphic
Adreana Young
Adreana Young is a customer insights specialist at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply. She can be reached at ayoung@ewingirrigation.com.

One Response to Prevent Damage to Backyard Fire Pits with These Tips for Ventilation

  1. John May 10, 2017 at 6:49 am #

    My wife really wants a fire pit installed in our backyard so we can entertain friends over at our house in the summer. I had heard that a propane fire pit is a good way to go since propane is reliable and easy to use. I thought it was interesting to read in the article that proper ventilation is essential since propane sinks and could become trapped. Rather than risk a fire hazard, I want to be safe and have proper ventilation installed before my fire pit so as to avoid any sort of catastrophe.

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