Different Types of Outdoor Fires:-
- Mains connected ‘flambeaux’ units, with electrical ignition.
- Contemporary designed outdoor fire places powered with bio-gel.
- Traditional coal or wood burning braziers (metal baskets / containers).
Mains Connected Fires
Installed as permanent features these fires are usually bespoke. Designed specifically to suit the client’s individual design. They are commonly installed within a bowl shaped feature; stainless, copper, aluminium or stone. The burner assembly includes a gas solenoid valve and unibox.
The unibox is mounted in a remote location approx 10m away from the burner head. The burner head is ignited by two hot surface igniters and is controlled by two thermo couples that feed back into the unibox for safe operation.
The fires that we have installed have been specifically converted to suit the clients internal system, meaning that they can be turned off and on anywhere within the house. Unlike the bio-fuel system these fires never run out of fuel and are smokeless.
The down side of the permanent fire feature is that is has to be fitted by a specialist technician and contractors, which make them more expensive to install. Apart from this initial high cost they provide years of entertainment and are virtually maintenance free.
Contemporary ‘Bio-gel’ Fires
These fires are now available in a vast array of designs. The frame of each fire can be traditional, contemporary, natural or high-tech. The fact that no connection to mains is required, no chimney is required, and the fires burn without smoke or odour makes these units failsafe. The bio-fuel is a sustainable energy source created from plant extracts. There are so many positives to these fires:
- ease of installation
- no chimney/flue required
- 100% energy efficient units
- Provide a decorative focal point to any garden
- No smoke produced
There are a few negatives to consider:
- High running costs ( 20 times higher than the cost of gas power to create the same heat output
- Lighting and storage of a flammable liquid required
Traditional Wood & Coal Burning Fires
These are usually manufactured in metal and are usually called braziers. These are the lowest price option to use. There are many new, contemporary designs available on the market but are generally provided as a bowl/basket shape.
These fires take some care and effort to prepare and are lit manually. Smoke is always produced and can be a hazard in some gardens and in some areas where the local authority has dictated a ‘smokeless zone’ the use of the fires would not be permitted. The fires become very hot and can damage newly built and landscaped gardens and can cause staining on surfaces. It is recommended that these fires are supervised at all times and additional burning material added regularly in order to keep the fire alight. Thorough cleaning is required the next day when the fire is cold and before the fire can be used again. These fires are not usually recommended or included within more contemporary, chic gardens as they are not as easily incorporated into modern designs and may damage light coloured or delicate surfaces - although traditional fires are lots of fun and are as good as having a camp fire in your garden!