Wouldn’t it be nice to relax in your backyard with a hot chocolate in hand without freezing from the cold breeze? A fire pit has always been a smart addition to any outdoor area.
Aside from increasing its aesthetic value, a fire pit also creates a cozier atmosphere outside your home where you can share great memories with family and friends. Of course, it won’t hurt to be able to cook on your outdoor fire pit too.
But what if you don’t have the budget to build a concrete fire pit or buy one? If you have an old wheelbarrow in your garage, you can actually upcycle it into your own fire pit.
Can you use a wheelbarrow as a fire pit?
There are a lot of things hanging around your house that you can actually repurpose instead of building or buying. One of these is a trusty old wheelbarrow, which you can use as a fire pit.
Only use a metal wheelbarrow as a fire pit. Don't use a plastic or fiberglass wheelbarrow as a fire pit.
A metal wheelbarrow can stand up to extremely high temperatures. You have the option to put it in your backyard temporarily or build a permanent fire pit around it. If you don’t have your own wheelbarrow, you can easily find old wheelbarrows in thrift shops and garage sales.
How can you turn a wheelbarrow into a fire pit?
The first step to turning your wheelbarrow into a fire pit is to make sure that it doesn’t have any cracks or holes. If the wheelbarrow is still intact, you can clean it and choose a spot in your backyard to place it.
Before placing your wheelbarrow in your yard, you may want to spray it with high heat paint. This will protect the metal below it and help prevent rusting.
The ground should be stable, preferably concrete or brick, to make sure that your wheelbarrow doesn’t accidentally fall over.
You should avoid putting it near plants or directly on grass if possible since they’re highly flammable. If you choose to use your wheelbarrow permanently as a fire pit, you should create a secure ground layer made of bricks, stone, or concrete.
Use cement blocks or rocks to lock the wheelbarrow in place.
What should I put in my wheelbarrow fire pit?
You can put wood directly into the wheelbarrow and burn it. If you want something to hold the heat a little longer and help your embers stay hot, you may want to add some rocks or lava glass in the bottom of your fire pit. Add the rocks before starting the fire.
Only use rocks and other materials that are rated for fires. If you use the wrong type of rock or wet rocks, you could have them explode on you.
How can you keep a wheelbarrow fire pit from falling over?
If you don’t want to put your wheelbarrow fire pit in one place in your backyard permanently, you have to make sure that it’s as secure as possible whenever you’re using it.
For one, you should pick out a stable spot in your backyard to keep your wheelbarrow properly leveled while you’re using it. This will keep burning wood or any other debris from falling on the ground and accidentally catching fire.
You should also place blocks or rocks around the base of the wheelbarrow to make sure that it won’t move or fall over while you’re using it.
What are the safety precautions when using a wheelbarrow fire pit?
Like any other outdoor fire pit, you have to take some necessary precautionary measures to ensure that you’re going to enjoy your wheelbarrow fire pit safely:
Choose the right spot
The ground should be level and it needs to be at least 10 feet away from any plants, furniture, or structure; including your house. You should also check with local authorities to see if there’s a standard distance required by law.
Use the right fuel
Only use wood that’s been dried, seasoned, and cut at least 6 months earlier. Never use composite wood, plywood, and other construction materials since they tend to release toxic fumes when burned. Soft woods also burn faster and emit more toxins than hickory or oak.
Light your fire pit only in an open space
Avoid lighting your fire pit underneath any structure or in a partially enclosed space. If you can, try to avoid any overhanging trees since flying wood fire sparks could easily start a fire outside of your fire pit.
Organize your seating properly
You don’t want people to be tumbling into your fire pit accidentally. So you need to position your seating in a way that people can move around your fire pit without tripping or getting too close to the fire pit.
It’s also important to choose heavier seats so people can’t easily move them. Make sure to watch over the children while the outdoor wheelbarrow fire pit is lighted.
Keep water and sand nearby
While you can take all the necessary precautionary measures, you should also keep a bucket of sand or garden hose nearby so you can easily deal with an unforeseen problems before they get out of hand.
Set your hose nozzle to “spray” since it’s more effective in managing fires than a direct stream of water that could spread the fire faster.
So what if there is a fire outside of your fire pit? Of course, you need to be ready for such instances by learning some of the tricks to putting out a fire safely:
- With a garden hose spray water at the base of the fire to extinguish it. If you are using sand, dump it on the fire before the flames get out of control.
- If you want to invest in a fire extinguisher, make sure that it’s a dry-chemical extinguisher with a Class B, C or multi-purpose rating. To use an extinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. Technique: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.
Portable fire extinguishers can usually reach 6-10 feet and can last up to 10 seconds.
Now if the fire gets out of control after you already tried putting it out, it’s best to calmly evacuate the area and call your local fire department for help.
The bottom line
Having your own wheelbarrow fire pit can really add to the fun of spending time in your own home. Repurposing an old wheelbarrow into a fire pit will give you the opportunity to enjoy nights under the stars with family and friends while keeping yourselves warm and cozy.
Of course, you can’t forget about grilling some hotdogs and marshmallows while you’re at it. As long as you follow proper safety precautions and ensure that your wheelbarrow fire pit is safely installed, you can definitely enjoy your time outdoors.