Burning Media and Proper Ventilation For Your Fire Pits, Fire Bowls, or Fire Features - FirePits.Store

Burning Media and Proper Ventilation For Your Fire Pits, Fire Bowls, or Fire Features

A very important part of a Fire Pit, Fire Bowl, or Fire Feature is proper ventilation and placement of your burning media. We have some helpful information on how to prepare your Fire Feature!

FIRST we have some very important DON'Ts that are very important for your health and safety.


  • Shut Off Gas To Your Fire Feature Appliance
  • Ensure that there is no open / lit flame
  • If you continue to smell gas, you must leave the area immediately and contact your local fire department and / or plumber


 Failure to adhere to these previous instructions may result in a hazard that can cause property damage, injury, or death. 



Fresh air circulating within your fire feature - even if it is a DIY Fire Pit - is necessary to reduce the temperature within the unit to prevent overheating as well as preventing any damage to the inner components. 

Natural Gas Vs. Propane

Vents on the structure may have different placements depending the gas type that you are using. Natural Gas is lighter and easily flows up. Vents in your fire pit can be placed higher on the structure or you may also use drainage holes in the pan used by your fire feature.

Propane is a heavier gas so vents should be placed lower in the Fire Pit. Failure to have proper ventilation for Propane can cause the gas to pool within your fire feature and a spark could potentially burst your fire feature into flames - causing damage to your property and potentially to yourself. Propane can be ignited at lower temperatures compared to Natural Gas and at lower concentrations as well, so proper venting will prevent undesired combustion.

The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) states that openings should have a total free area of 1SQ. Inch per pound of stored fuel. The minimum then is 20 Square Inches of ventilation as most propane tanks are 20lbs of storage or less. If you are making your own DIY Fire Feature, we have Vents or Pans & Burners for you to finish your DIY Project!

Unlike the portability of propane, Natural Gas is fed to appliances and fire features via a pipeline, so you will need a licensed plumber or contractor to help you with your gas connections. While the expenses of setting up a pipeline for natural gas can be costly, the use of natural gas is less costly than propane.

Burning Media

Lava rocks are the standard media used by most on their fire features, however one must be certain that they are using proper FIRE-RATED media. 

Lava rocks should be no smaller than 1/2" diameter on average. Only Fire Glass specifically designated for use in fire features should be used. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING FIRE GLASS WITH PROPANE.

The media that is spread around your burner should not exceed 2" in total height. If using an electronic ignition system / electronic ignition valve, the media should not cover the pilot. Please see the image below for a proper demonstration.

If using propane, once must check for any back pressure as excessive burning media may block propane from being emitted and lit up by your pilot. 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Fire Pit, Fire Bowl, or Fire Feature, feel free to contact us at (619) 268-5513. We will do our best to provide you with any answers to your questions.

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