Learn all about the best ways to put out a fire in a fire pit in this article.

Enjoying a cozy fire outdoors is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a busy day or week.

However, not properly planning ahead to put out your fire can be dangerous and quickly turn a relaxing evening into a stressful or even deadly night. But, with a little planning and know-how, you can safely enjoy and put out a fire in a fire pit.

Can You Leave a Fire Pit Burning Overnight?

A fire in a fire pit being put out by waiting for the flames to die down.

A common question regarding putting out a fire in a fire pit is if you can just leave the fire burning overnight and allow it to burn out on its own.

This would definitely be an easier option, but it is also very risky and dangerous. Even a tiny ember can cause a backyard fire, especially during dry conditions. 

But don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of different options to ensure that you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a backyard fire, but also easily and safely put out the fire. All it takes is a little bit of planning, time and some supplies. 

You don’t want to rush the process of putting out a fire or leave it as a last-minute task. Outdoor Command recommends you stop adding fuel to the fire about an hour before you are planning to leave the area. This allows the fire to burn down naturally, making it easier to put out.

You can use a shovel or a stick to spread out any hot logs or coals. This will help speed up the process of putting out the fire. If the large chunks of the wood or coals are spread out and not touching, they will not hold as much heat and lessen the chances of reigniting the fire.

From here, there are several different options to finish the job of putting out the fire in your backyard wood-burning fire pit.

Check out some of our tips and info for each option and learn which one will work best for your outdoor fire pit.

How to Safely Put Out a Fire Pit

Person using a water hose to safety put out a fire in a fire pit


Water is a quick and easy way to put out a fire in your fire pit, but having a bucket of water on stand-by isn’t quite the best option for this.

A garden hose with a multi-pattern nozzle will be needed if you want to use water to douse out the flames. Have the nozzle set to a spray setting rather than a direct stream of water to safely extinguish flames.

According to hgtv, a shower-type spray will safely quench a fire, while a direct stream can actually spread sparks.

When adding water, take care to not be too close, as the cool water hitting the hot firewood can give off steam that can cause injury.

Once the firewood, embers and ash have been soaked with water, stir the contents with a shovel or stick until it is ensured that they are drenched and fully cooled. 

While water allows you to quickly cool and put out the flames in your fire pit, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best option for your fire pit, particularly if it is constructed of metal.

If your fire pit is made of metal, the repeated sudden change from hot to cold can weaken the material over time, causing it to deteriorate faster or even cause it to crack. Depending on the manufacturer of your fire pit, this could also violate the product warranty.

If you are planning on regularly replacing and updating your fire pit, this is one option of putting out fires. However, if you want your metal fire pit to last longer, there are other effective options to put out a fire without water, which will also help protect the structural integrity of your fire pit over time.

Using sand and dirt is a great way to put out a fire pit without water

Sand and Dirt

A common way of putting out a fire pit without water is to use dry sand or dirt. We recommend using a shovel to throw sand and dirt on the coals of the fire once it has nearly burned out to a few embers.

Using the shovel or a stick, stir the cinders, sand and dirt together until you have ensured that the fire has been put out completely. 

This option is ideal if you have a metal fire pit that you want to keep for season after season. It is also a practical option if your garden hose cannot reach your backyard fire pit, particularly if it is a permanent feature of your landscape and cannot be easily moved around.


Another effective way to put out a fire pit without water is to use a snuffer. A snuffer is designed to go on top of your fire pit, like a lid, and cut off the flow of oxygen to the fire so it will stop burning.

Some fire pits will come with a snuffer, but if you are looking to purchase one for your fire pit, you will want to keep the dimensions of your fire pit opening in mind for optimal results.

This option is also best used on wood-burning fire pits that have a solid enclosed burning area, such as fire bowls or hardscaped fire pits. It will not work quite as effectively with fire pits that feature cut-out designs, as these will still allow air to flow into the burning area, which will allow the fire to continue burning.

How to Safely Put out a Fire in a Gas Fire Pit

Outdoor gas fire pit with a roaring fire in the backyard.

A gas fire pit is much easier to put out a fire, as you simply just turn it off.

If your gas fire pit has decorative elements in or around the burner, such as lava rocks or fire glass, you will want to ensure that these are cool to the touch before putting a protective lid or cover over your gas fire pit.

Keep Your Cozy Fires Fun & Safe

Having a backyard fire is a fun and relaxing way to unwind outdoors and unplug from the busy rush of day-to-day life.

By having the right tools and know-how, you can ensure that you can safely enjoy and extinguish your fire at the end of the night. The right extinguishing method can not only help protect yourself and your loved ones, but could also prolong the life of your fire pit for many seasons to come.

Also, make sure to check out our other fire pit related articles for helpful tips and insights with all things fire pits.

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About the Author

Josh House
Josh House
Josh House is a digital marketer who has a passion for video production and a soft spot for a good pun. During a cool evening, you’ll find him aspiring to build the perfect fire while strumming campfire songs on his guitar all night long.

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