A fire pit cover helps protect a stand-alone fire pit from the elements. Just as the spark screen prevents hot embers from escaping to cause damage, the fire pit cover prevents debris, rodents, and weather from causing problems with your fire pit.
As an Animal Barrier
The last place you want to find a bird or squirrel nest is inside your upright fire pit. While they probably won't cause much damage, you still have to go through the trouble clearing out the nest before lighting the fire pit. By covering the top when it is not being used, rodents and birds can't gain access and create complications.
Protection from Weather and Debris
Another great reason for a fire pit cover is to help protect it from the elements. Metal fire pits are subject to rust, which can eventually lead to having to replace the fire pit. Additionally, water washing into the main cylinder can cause any existing ashes and leftover charcoal to form a sludge that later hardens into a difficult mess to remove. This mixture cause dual problems, first clogging drainage holes, and then deterioration and rust caused by water.
Fire Pit Cover Basics
A fire pit cover is ideally designed for your particular type and model of fire pit. Commercial fire pits often come with a fire pit screen and cover while custom designed kits may require making adjustments or creating your own custom fire pit cover. Many covers are made of metal and attach to engineered clips on the fire pit but even a small waterproof canvas and a bungee cord can be used if nothing else is available.
Attach Metal Covers Permanently
If you have a metal cover, it may make things a little easier if you attach it to the fire pit with a set of hinges. The cover would always be available, you can easily seal the fire pit after using it by flipping the cover into place and tightening the fasteners. This idea also prevents accidentally misplacing the cover and serves as a visual reminder that the cover needs to be put into place after usage.
Fire Pit Accessories
Fire pit covers help extend the life of the fire pit, but there are other accessories that provide comfort and functionality as well. Add some seating around the fire pit for guests or expand the fire pit to include a grilling area. Spend idle time around the fire cooking savory meals. Tiki lamps are a great idea for fire pit accessories, too, and can be decorative as well as useful.
Fire Pit Safety
One final accessory that every fire pit should have is a chemical based fire extinguisher. Having a water hose nearby is a good idea, but if the worst scenario develops, the fire you are fighting will almost surely not have been caused by the wood of the fire pit, but something else that has accidentally been allowed to catch fire. Water is fine for a wood fire but it is not very effective against fires caused by oil or chemicals.