Will Red Bricks Explode in a Fire Pit? (Because…)

Are you planning to go to the market for a new fire pit and you’re wondering if red bricks are a safe option to invest in? The answer depends on the extent to which you want to make use of the bricks.

People use fire pits in the backyard for small campfires. Recently, fire pits are increasingly becoming popular as an important feature.  However, fire pits do not only make perfect backyard decorations; it remains one of the best ways to keep people warm.

For maximum safety from hazards from fire pits explosion or similar cases, knowing the factors responsible for the explosion is very important. It is pertinent to know the kinds of red bricks prone to explosion when exposed to temperatures.

You’re about to find out if indeed fire pits have an adverse effect on red bricks or if there’s a misconception about whether or not red bricks do explode when used for fire pits. Continue reading through this guide as we point you in the right direction on the interrelationship of fire pits and red bricks.

Can Red Bricks Explode in a Fire Pit?

Yes, red bricks can explode in a fire pit under certain conditions. Because red bricks are constructed from clay, they are much more resistant to high temperatures from the fire pit than any other brick you’ll find on the market.

Indeed, red bricks can explode in fire pits, and there is no doubt about that. However, although this happens on rare occasions, the truth is that they may explode. People have seen or witnessed the explosion of red bricks.

The clay used in manufacturing red bricks is heated at a higher temperature than other bricks and is less likely to explode when exposed to extreme fire conditions. Although the truth remains that red bricks are not resistant to fire, they are a good choice for your fire pit.

If you have ever witnessed a red brick explosion in fire pits, the chances are that red bricks are not built with the best material that can make them resist the temperature of the fire.

A standard red brick has a temperature-resistant feature of at least 1,750 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they remain the best bricks to substitute the firebricks for fire pit purposes.

When bricks generally explode in fire, this may be because of the rapid change in the temperature of the fire pit. When bricks are fired gently and incrementally, they are more likely to survive higher temperatures.

Also, red bricks have higher porosity and do not absorb excessive water. It is easier for water vapor in bricks to escape through pores. Therefore, it is easier for red bricks to allow the temperature to escape via the pores. If you build a fire pit using red bricks, you may not face much pressure.

Thanks to the too many pores on red bricks, which create room for easy water evaporation. Due to this, the chances are very slim for an explosion to occur if you use red bricks for the fire pit.

Except for the other materials or the concrete close to the bricks finds a way for blocking off the pores in the bricks, resulting in trapping the water inside the pit, which may lead to an explosion. However, in the case of making a very big fire, there is every likelihood that cracks may occur in the bricks.

Generally, red bricks may suffer cracks or break when exposed to temperatures higher than they can contain. Using red bricks may not be the right choice for those who prefer to make bigger fires with higher temperatures. In this case, it is best to go for fire bricks as they are the better option.

What Temperature Can Bricks Withstand?

Bricks are of different types. While there are different kinds of bricks, each has varying heat-resistant capabilities. Although there are various bricks, as said earlier, the most highly resistant to temperature among these bricks are the fire bricks. These bricks are majorly made of two materials; silica and alumina. 

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On the other hand, fire bricks are also made of different types. As a result, their temperature-resistant ability also differs. Fire bricks with the best quality will resist or withstand temperatures around 2,460 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coming close to these temperature-resistant bricks are the red bricks. They share almost the same temperature-resistant capability, just as firebricks. Red bricks have lower durability, despite having almost the same heat-resistant feature as firebricks. They can stand the same temperature as firebricks until they become broken. 

Red bricks have a temperature-resistant capability of at least 1,750 degrees Fahrenheit. They can sometimes withstand more temperature if they have more quality and composition.

Indeed, masonry bricks are not built for fire. However, it is amazing that these bricks have a reasonable amount of temperature-resistant capabilities.

A standard mansory brick has temperature resistant capability of up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit before it can be broken. So, if you look forward to using these types of bricks for pit fire, they may not provide the expected result as they are not recommended.

What Can Cause a Fire Pit To Explode?

A fire pit will explode when there is a thermal expansion in the material that makes up the fire pit. If a fire pit is made of red bricks, it will explode when the water in the clay that makes the brick is condensed to steam due to the increase in temperature, which results in expansion.

To avoid an exploded fire pit, it is best to incrementally beast true bricks. This will cause the water in the brick to evaporate gently, and there will be no explosion because the rate of expansion would have slowed down.

When heating red bricks, ensure not to do so in a fire pit with extremely high temperatures. An excellent alternative to heat fire bricks is in a kiln.

Different materials are used to construct fire pits, such as concrete blocks, different rock types, bricks, and other suitable materials. All of these materials ate great for constructing fire pits.

However, any of these materials can still lead to an explosion of fire pits if they trap water in them. It is very important to ensure that any of these materials in construction does not trap water inside.

To avoid these materials from causing fire pit explosions, they should have enough pores and holes in them. This will allow the free passage of water vapor through them. If the water vapor cannot pass through them and becomes heated up, their mass starts increasing.

While the mass increases, the pressure begins to pile up, resulting in the likely explosion of the fire pit. Accidents from this kind of incident can be lethal as it has happened on different occasions.

Can You Use Pavers as Fire Bricks?

Pavers can be used as fire bricks are they give better air circulation in the fire due to their structure.

If desired, you can use pavers for your fire pits instead of red bricks. Pavers give more space for burning rather than constructing the fire in one direction. However, users must ensure they get a quality paver. A poor quality product woul wear and tear after a short period. So ensure you get a solid and good quality paver

Can You Use Regular Bricks For a Fire Pit?

Yes! You can make a fire pit using regular bricks but with caution. Many people opt for using regular bricks for their fire pit due to the lesser cost, and as a result, you can see them anywhere.

The good side of using fresh regular bricks for fire pits is that they are resistant to heat to a certain level. Additionally, they absorb water at a very lower rate. Regular bricks also allow a quick escape from water absorbed.

However, there is a problem with these specific bricks. Regular bricks are prone to breaking easily compared to fire bricks. Regular bricks have less durability and sturdiness. It is worth knowing that regular bricks can resist heat. However, they got a higher chance to break off due to cracks within a short time.

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What Kind of Bricks Can You Use For the Fire Pit?

Different types of brick suitable for fire pits range from stone, ceramic, and refractory concrete. However, standing out of these options is clay bricks. The use of clay bricks for fire pits has been applied for centuries, first as a material for building solid structures because of its durability.

In addition, clay bricks are constructed from natural clay and do not involve chemical treatment. Using clay bricks for your fire pit is a good choice because they can easily be recycled for use again.

There are a few considerations when using clay bricks for a fire pit, especially in the United States. First, you must be sure that the clay bricks have been rated by authorization bodies in the States to be dry and able to stand harsh fire conditions.

Why do clay bricks need to be dry, you may ask? It is because wet bricks are more likely to explode when used in the fire pit. You should expose the bricks to at least 2 hours of sunlight to be sure they are scorched before using them.

Do House Bricks Explode in the Fire?

Indeed, all bricks can explode in a fire when exposed beyond the amount of temperature they can contain, including house bricks. To avoid all types of bricks from exploding in the fire, it is best to use highly resistant to temperature material to help them withstand the heat to a certain extent.

In the case of house bricks, they may not explode even when they go beyond the temperature level they can hold. When this happens, house bricks can become cracked and fall apart in most cases. However, this may not be a usual occurrence, but it can be possible.

Bricks, in some cases, may crack or break down directly into the fire pit. There are good chances that the materials used in constructing these bricks are not of a good standard if you ever meet yourself in this situation.

The materials used in their construction process do not have the strength to hold the temperature coming from the fire, hence, leading to its crack and fall apart.

How Can You Tell if a Brick is Fireproof?

Depending on the type of brick you wish to use for your fire pit, some indicators tell if the brick is fireproof. If you have a standard brick, then it is a safe choice for a fire pit.

On the other hand, if you have a red brick that has undergone treatment with glaze or sealants, you should think twice before taking it in for your fire pit. The best possible for you to tell if the brick you have is fireproof is for you to make a consultation with an expert.

Standard bricks are made from clay, then heated in a kiln to make them more durable and endure higher temperatures. However, this process makes the bricks have pores that can accommodate water, and in the long run, cause the bricks to expand due to high temperature.

The production of red bricks that involve treatment with glaze or sealants is not reasonably fireproof and would not give you the best experience with fire pits. This is because the glaze or sealant on the treated brick will stop water from getting into it and, at the same time, stop expansion and contraction in the brick, which can cause an explosion when heated at a high temperature.

Above all, the best possible way for you to determine if a brick if fireproof or not is to seek the help of an expert. A trained professional can confidently inform you on what type of brick to use for your fire pit.

What Can You Use Instead of Firebrick?

Instead of fire bricks, you can use materials like stone, refractory concrete, glass, and ceramic for your fire pit, as each has its unique benefit.

Stone is the best alternative for a fire pit because it is more durable and can take a lot from a fire pit. The downside to using stone as an alternative is that it can be costly. The good thing about stone is that it can be easily found but is not the best for DIY tasks.

Ceramic is a cheaper alternative to red bricks and will come in handy for DIY fire pit, but it trades durability for affordability. Be careful not to overheat the fire pit when using ceramic so as not to cause an explosion.

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Glass fire pits can be attractive and affordable but are more fragile than ceramic. The last option is refractory concrete which is very durable and expensive and can be a good choice for a fire pit.

How Many Fire Bricks are Needed For a Fire Pit?

You will always need one thing to build your fire pits: bricks. The number of bricks to use for the construction of fire pits often remains a question everyone loves to ask.

Answering this question can be narrowed down to individuals; it depends on the size of fire pits to construct. Not certain of the size? Then there will be a need to buy more bricks.

There will be a need for 80 bricks for a 3-ft (36″ inch) diameter fire pit. Also, there is a need for face brick with holes (“cored”) for easy splitting with a brick hammer. This helps in the pit wall’s curve formation using half bricks. The split bricks are used for building round looks. These split bricks help in providing aesthetics to the fire pits in a round form.

How to Build a Fire Pit With Bricks?

Using bricks, you can build a safe fire pit by following the steps below. Here are easy steps to some backyard “Do It Yourself” projects.

1. It is first crucial that you check the ordinances that guide your locality. In the United States, fire pits are restricted in certain places you’ll get to. So, ensure that the government is satisfied with building a fire pit.

2. Map out the fire pit area and ensure it is on the ground, far from fences or flammable materials. Also, make sure all tree branches suspending low are taken care of.

3. Draw a circle to represent the position of your fire pit and evacuate up to 8 inches within the perimeter of your fire pit ring. Proceed to dig 7 to 8 inches deep as you start the installation.

4. Fill the ring with a layer of sand as you begin to lay the bricks. Ensure you’re using concrete-retaining bricks when building your fire pit. Start by laying a course of brick around the edge of the pit you have mapped out.

5. Add construction adhesive to strengthen the bond between the bricks for more stability. If you notice any brick out of alignment, use a rubber mallet to hit it.

6. Continue placing new layers of blocks on the initial levels and ensure to establish solid bonding until you have the desired height.

7. Add a layer of crushed stones to the sand and proceed to complete the installation process. Lay the final ring bricks and allow them to dry for at least 48 hours before having your first fire.

Are Red Bricks Dangerous in a Fire Pit?

Red bricks have the propensity to cause danger in a fire pit. They can explode if they are not well cured and exposed to intense temperatures.

To avoid this danger, it is advised that you start the fire pit with slight burning, which will build up into a more intense fire. This will take care of the expansion problem in the bricks and not allow for the explosion.

Red bricks are usually made from clay and are often used in construction. What makes them red is the presence of “oxides of iron” and when they are heated, can explode due to the high temperature. In addition, red bricks are explosive in the fire. 

Conclusion

Fire bricks are made specifically to work with fire pits. Anything used outside of this will inevitably end up damaged and ineffective in the long run. To save you from the expense of rebuilding a new fire pit due to broken bricks, go for fire brick.

Having a fire pit is essential during cold seasons and having the suitable material to build yourself a fire pit is crucial. When choosing the right type of brick for a fire pit, a different option comes to mind.

You have a range to pick from concrete to ceramic and stone. More than choosing what material is best for a fire pit, it is crucial to work with what you can afford and try to take every preventive measure to avoid any casualty.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.