Fire pits have been in existence for a very long time and despite many technological advancements since the advent of man\'s use of fire, they have remained a popular item because of their versatility. A fire pit can physically vary from a pit dug into the ground to an elaborate gas burning compilation of stone, brick, and metal. The common feature of fire pits is that they are designed to contain a fire and prevent it from spreading. A fire pit is a great substitute for a fireplace. But it can also be multifunctional and serve as a table, a fireplace or a cooking stove, as well as all three at the same time. But how to choose a fire pit that will suit your needs? First you need to decide what functions the fire pit should have. Is it purely decorative or will you use it as campfire to cook food, gather around and enjoy the warmth of fire together with your family and friends? Be sure to know the laws and regulations for the outdoor fires. Choose a spot in your backyard where you want the fire pit to be. It should be a spacious spot to seat your family and guests safely around the fire pit. You can opt for a built-in fire pit in which case a hole is dug in the ground and the pit is laid with stones. Or if your backyard is small you can choose a portable fire pit that you can move and put away when not using it. When choosing a fire pit take into consideration its functions, the frequency of use and weight (for portable ones). If you want to cook on your fire pit then make sure it has grill accessories. Make sure you have a fire pit screen that helps prevent sparks and ash from scattering during windy weathers. Opt for those made of thicker metal to ensure it served longer. Cast iron pits are heavier to move. Stainless steel fire pits are rust resistant so they can be left outside. Copper pits look great though the copper needs to be cleaned from time to time to give it a shine. There are also other materials fire pits are made of and which one to choose really depends on your needs and budget. Decorative fire pits are usually placed near the loungers, tables and swimming pools. These can also be smaller than usual multipurpose fire pits. Keep safety your first consideration when using an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or fire bowl. Whether wood, gel, or gas fueled, when in use your outdoor fireplace or fire pit does contain fire. Never leave an outdoor fire unattended. The wind can suddenly increase or shift direction, children or pets can unexpectedly bump into something or fall, and adults can lose focus an inconvenient times.