Gas fire pits

Gas fire pits allow you to switch your fire on and off whenever you like. You’ll have a wonderfully cosy fire burning away in just a minute, without the fuss of starting up a wood fire – or the associated mess.

Gas fire pits buyer’s guide

Whilst there's no doubt the majority of us are sold on the charms of a garden fire pit, there are some disadvantages that can be very off-putting. For one, you have to light the fire and wait for it to get going, which is even more of a challenge if there's a slight breeze. Then there's the smell which can linger for days, and the mess to clean up after.

Enter: gas fire pits. They are a wonderful way to bring the warmth and heat of a fire pit to your garden, without all of the above problems. You simply turn them on when you want fire, and turn them off when you don't. There are no ember sparks to deal with and you won't have to clean out all the dirty ashes afterwards. As a bonus, a gas powered fire pit doesn't leave you smelling strongly of smoke, nor does it blind you as that smoke drifts around towards you in the breeze. Last but not least, you don't have to sit around waiting for the fire to go out when you're ready to head up to bed. Gas fire pits are a no-brainer.

Gas fire pits should only be used outdoors. If you want an indoor fire pit, choose a bio ethanol table top pit.

Types of gas

Liquid Propane

Most of the gas fire pits you see on offer use Propane. The easiest way is to get a propane tank/cannister - these are typically available from DIY stores, garden centres etc. The tank attaches to the fire pit using a hose, and you can hide the tank away (e.g. behind a flower pot). There is usually a refundable deposit to pay when you return the tank (although more likely, you'll run out of gas, the centre will refill it for you and keep the deposit). Just be aware you'll need to keep going back to the same place for refills so that you don't have to keep paying out for deposits (and losing them).

Propane can be hard piped but this is less common.

Note that sometimes we see models where the gas bottle is stored within the table base. This can be dangerous. The whole of such an appliance must be tested and issued with its own UKCA/CE certification (not just the gas burner).

Natural gas

Fire pits powered by natural gas are less common and you will need to ensure the model you buy is compatible. You will have to pay for a natural gas line to be set up but after that, you'll have an endless supply without needing to source refills. It's cheaper (once you have your line set up) and natural gas also burns cleanly. However, most people opt for propane simply because there is not the hurdle of getting the line installed first. Pits powered by a propane bottle are also portable!

Safety

Gas fire pits typically have a number of safety elements built in, such as safety ignitions and shutdown valves that automatically close the connection to the gas source if a flame isn’t sensed. These are another obvious advantage over traditional non-gas fire pits.

They should have passed relevant safety standards - ANSI in the USA, CSA in Canada, CE in Europe. Be aware that 'Built to CE standards' is NOT the same as having the CE mark. You should also be aware that due to Brexit, for appliances manufactured after the 1st Jan 2021 and destined to be sold in the UK, the appliance manufacturer is required to re-certify the appliance and obtain a UKCA mark.