Can You Use Mulch Around a Fire Pit?

Fire pit allows people to make use of their backyard during the cool evening. It helps keep outdoor users warm during cool weather.

Let’s quickly answer the question; you can’t mulch around a fire pit because mulch has a flammable material that can easily cut fire especially during drought.

If you must mulch around your fire pit, ensure the fire pit is 18m above the ground floor and 10ft away from the building and any other flammable object.

According to research by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, mulch cut fire that destroyed buildings worth $5 million and permanently displaced 36 residents.

In this article, you will learn everything about fire pits that’ll help you build a safe fire pit in your backyard.

Mulch and fire pit are two outdoor features that serve different functions. Irrespective of the benefit of a fire pit, it doesn’t mean to be placed anywhere near mulch in the backyard. 

Positioning Your Fire Pit

Fire pit without mulch

The easiest way to avoid a fire disaster is to position the fire pit in a safe environment. How you place, where you place and direction matter a lot.

This is important because embers do escape from the fire pit. The position of the fire pit will help you to quench the fire if there is any ember escape.  

Whether you want to install a permanent fire pit or use a portable fire pit, the position you mount it and what’s around it, are the key factors that determine safety.

Portable Fire Pit

Portable fire pit at the backyard

Portable fire pit that’s not placed in a strategic place in the backyard can easily be turned-over by a dog. 

If the portable fire pit is not well-secured in a position that’s out of dog reach or any other being, will turn it over unknown to the users.

It’s more dangerous if such an incident happens in the middle of the night. Especially when you’re fast asleep.

Therefore, it’s a safety precaution to keep your portable fire pit secure and out of any other thing that could tun-it-over.

The environment you keep a fire pit in is very important. Ensure you keep the place clean from other forms of consumable fire materials.

Let the portable fire pit be 10ft distance from your building or your neighbours own. Then, clean around the place with 6ft off any materials around the portable fire pit.

Any size or amount of fire can cause a fire disaster, if you don’t properly position it in your backyard. 

Don’t put portable fire pit around a cover patio or on a wooden patio. These are dangerous places to keep portable fire pits.

If you must keep a fire pit on a deck, let it be on top of a brick deck. The brick deck should be 18mm above the ground floor.

At the same time, keep the area clean off any flammable materials. Safety measures are the best way to protect your property from being destroyed by a fire pit.

Permanent Fire Pit

Permanent fire pits are better than the portable fire pit. It’s sometimes more cost-friendly than the portable fire pit.

The most recommended material to construct a permanent fire pit is bricks. Bricks are a safer way to keep fire under control.

Don’t build a permanent fire pit around mulch because this can easily cause a fire outbreak. Most have flammable materials that can easily set place on fire.

The permanent bricks fire pit should be 18mm above the ground level and 10 feet away from any structure. 

It should be 25 feet away from your neighboring yard if you have such space. But if you don’t ensure you keep the permanent fire pit 10 feet away from them.

Don’t place the permanent fire pit under a covered porch or low hanging tree branches. Construct the permanent fire pot on a non-flammable surface, like patio blocks or concrete.

Avoid installing a permanent fire pit under a wooden patio. Neither should you place it directly on grass or mulch. Totally avoid installing it directly on mulch.  

How to Install Fire Pit 

Fire pit is very nice when it’s well installed at the back and serves the purpose of constructing it.

Safety is the first everyone who wants to build a fire pit put into consideration. The way you build it is the key safety.

Follow these step for you to build safe permanent fire pit:

Step 1: Plan out the size of the fire pit you want to build. Get the materials you want to use ready.

Remove every flammable material around the area. Draw a circle to make the area you want to build it.

Construction of fire pit

Dig the circle to be 5 diameter and 6 feet deep. Dig another one round the first one you dig.

The second hole is where the bricks will be while the first hole will be for the fire pit mainly.

After this the digging of the holes, mix the crete. Ensure before you mix the cement, sand soil, and water there is brick.

Step 2: Set the brick on the foundation you dig on step one. Note the brick is seating on the second diameter hole not the first one.

Use the mix soil to set the brick to a height of 18mm from the ground level. Use the mix soil to hold tight each side.

Once the outer bricks begin to take shape, start building the inner one with fire bricks. Not the same bricks you use for the outside. 

Brick both outside and inside of the fire pit hole.

Set the inner hole with bricks and prepare it in a way you can light fire on it. Ensure every side is well arranged and fill the space in between gaps with cement.

Step 3: Once you’re done filling the in between the bricks you are done with the fire pit. Now that your fire pit is ready you can now go ahead to use it.

Before you use your fire pit, I want to show you safety precautions you need to take before making full use of the fire pit.

How to Get a Fire Pit Ready For Uses?

Don’t be over-excited to start using the fire pit without taking precautionary safety methods. Below are the precautions method.

Clear all the flammable materials 6 inches away from the pit before you start to use it. The distance will help to prevent an escape fire from spreading. 

Remove dirt or debris around the pit that might cause any fire explosion .

Clean the inside of the fire pit. The inside should be 6 inches deep then the second hole to be 2 feet across.  

What this means is the total depth of the hole should be 6 inches. The distance of the first hole to the second is 4 inches while the second hole to the outside is 2 inches.

The 2 inches across is what will keep the embers and flames in control. Once you do all safety methods stated here, you can go ahead to use your fire pit.

How to Light a Fire Pit?

You don’t walk up to your fire pit to light it. No, before you light a fire pit check the direction of the wind. 

Get rid of any flammable materials or downwind around the area and the pit. If the wind is too strong or too windy, don’t light your fire pit. 

Avoid using any flammable fluid (lighter fluid, gasoline, lighter fluid, gasoline, etc.) to light fire pits. 

Use a fire starter stick with tinder at the top of it. Don’t use any of the flammable material to relight a fire pit.

Using Your Fire Pit With Safety Caution

One of the first safety measures you need to keep is don’t leave your fire pit unattended. 

Leave only children or pets in your fire pit without any one to take care of them.

Get wire mesh cover to embers inside the fire pit. This will prevent kids or pets from falling inside.

Ensure you don’t over fuel the fire pit before you light. Better still have a measurement of the quality of fuel you to pour that will keep the fire burning slowly.

Don’t throw paper inside the fire pit because these can easily throw off embers. 

Ensure no one around your fire pit wears flammable or loose-fit-clothing.

Avoid using softwoods like pine or cedar to prepare fire inside the fire pit because it can easily throw sparks or embers out of the fire pit 

Ensure that there is always a container of water and a housen or if possible get a fire extinguisher close to the fire pit in case of an emergency.

How to Extinguish Fire Pit 

For you to carry out the work of extinguisher properly, you to have close to your fire pit:

Extinguishing fire on the pit, you require a shovel that you can use to take back any escape embers and to put off the fire.

Use water to extinguish the fire and after that use a shovel to check if it’s fully extinguished. 

Keep a metal can for packing of ashes. Ensure you dispose of the ash properly.

Ashes can still cause fire after 2 to 3 days. It can still be hot enough to cause a fire. Don’t dispose of ashes on combustible materials. 


Fire pit is one of the features that make an outdoor homestead. Especially during the cool weather conditions.

When you carefully observe these guidelines and safety measures shared in this article, your fire pit will be a wonderful place.

The fire pit is an excellent place to enjoy the cool evening and have fun with your family.