How to Put Out a Chiminea Fire

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The excitement of a chiminea fire can lead to overlooking the important aspect of putting out the fire when you’re done. Having

What’s the Best Way to Put Out a Chiminea Fire?

The best way to put out a chiminea fire is to let it burn out and stop adding fuel.

DO NOT USE WATER unless in an emergency, as it will likely damage your chiminea due to the heat shock and could even explode.


If you need to put out the fire more quickly than waiting for it to burn out naturally, use sand to smother the fire.

Why is Using Sand a Good Way to Put Out a Chiminea Fire?

Sand is an excellent fire extinguishing material as it smothers the fire quickly limiting the amount of air the fire can feed on and there are no nasty chemicals released.

If you have a clay chiminea you should have a bed of sand in the bottom to protect the clay chiminea from the extreme heat of the fire. You can use a shovel and turn over the sand to extinguish the fire once it has died down.

TIP – Soil can substitute for sand to put out a fire in an emergency.

It’s always a good idea to have a bucket of sand ready whenever you start a fire. It doesn’t matter if the sand is not completely dry as it will still do the job.

TIP – Chimineas are designed to have small fires. If you build your fire too big and have flames licking out the top of your chiminea, your fire is too big.

For more info on chiminea safety check out this article.

How to Put Out a Chiminea – Planning Ahead

By taking a few simple steps you can take the stress out of what to do with your fire when it’s time to go inside.

  • Think ahead to when you want to go indoors
  • Stop adding fuel at least half an hour or longer before this time
  • Once the embers die down, spread them out
  • Use sand to smother the embers


Some of these steps may seem obvious but it’s important you have the full picture. It’s tempting throughout the evening to keep feeding your chim but try to think ahead so that when it’s time for the party to end you’re not left with a raging fire to deal with.

chiminea embers
Healthy chiminea fire

Once the fire dies down and you’re left with embers and glowing ashes, if you leave them in a cosy pile they retain their heat and also will likely instantly set light to anything remotely flammable that happens to touch them.

By spreading them out you immediately disperse this intensity and the individual embers will burn themselves out. Obviously, use your fire tools to do this.

Do Not Use Water to Put out a Chiminea Fire

  • You’ll likely damage your chiminea
  • It’s dangerous for you and your family
  • Any water left in a chiminea will have a destructive effect
  • Drying out before you use it again can be long and arduous

Chimineas can be extremely sensitive to heat shock. By putting out your chiminea fire with water the dramatic change in temperature (called heat shock) can have devastating effects on your chiminea.

Furthermore, this heat shock in extreme cases can even cause your chiminea to explode – not the perfect ending to that cost family gathering.

cracked clay chiminea

Whether it’s a metal chiminea or clay, they all HATE water. Chimineas will likely crack if you throw water on a lit fire or at the very least, you’ll negatively affect the structural integrity of your wonderful fireplace.

There’s also the aftermath of drying out your chiminea as any water left inside the fire bowl will start to affect your chim – clay is porous and if water gets in it’s always bad news. Once the moisture is within the clay structure, is changes size when the chiminea changes temperature. This will result in damage to the structure of your clay chiminea.

In metal chimineas, you have to deal with rust if water is left in the fire bowl. Metal chims are more robust than clay. They can cope with temperature changes better. However, even if you regularly paint your metal chiminea, the firebowl is always untreated and it won’t take long to rust if in contact with moisture.

The added joy of making sure your chiminea is completely dry before you use it again can be extremely time-consuming (things tend to take a while to dry out here in the UK!). If you don’t get all the water out of your fire bowl, good luck lighting that fire! We all know how much fires hate water.

Can You Leave a Chiminea to Burn Out?

No, you should never leave a fire unattended in your garden. However, if you can still see your fire from inside your house, by all means, get warm inside. You must keep an eye on it until it dies out completely.

If using sand in a clay chiminea, you can use this to speed up the process and smother the fire. If entertaining guests, as a host, always have someone designated fire witch or wizard to help manage the responsibility.

How to Put Out a Chiminea Fire in an Emergency

The best way to put out a chiminea fire in an emergency is by smothering it with sand.

Remember basic fire safety and don’t light fires outdoors in extreme drought or where dry vegetation is nearby. Take the opportunity to teach kids and pets basic fire safety.

Putting Out Chiminea Fire

  • Chimineas are safe to use if you follow simple guidelines
  • The best way to put out a chiminea fire is to let it burn out naturally
  • If you want to put out the chiminea fire more quickly, let the fire die down, spread the embers, cover it with sand
  • Don’t use water unless it’s unavoidable
  • Never leave a chiminea fire unattended

A controlled fire is a happy fire – have fun and enjoy your chiminea fire responsibly.

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