To make a 55-gallon burn barrel, get a 55-gallon steel drum with one end open. Other necessary materials are a piece of sheet metal, two concrete blocks and a metal grate or a piece of heavy fencing. Use a handgun or a drill to allow air circulation and water drainage.
Drill four holes at the bottom of the barrel and up to 20 holes on the sides. These holes let air flow freely and allow water to drain out of the drum. Excessive holes make the drum rust faster and cause the burn barrel to fail if an aerosol can explodes.
Put the drum with the open side up over the concrete blocks. Position the drum borders in the middle of the blocks. Clear the space between the blocks to allow good airflow and water drainage.
Prevent burning particles from escaping the burn barrel with a burn cover, made with a metal grate or a piece of heavy fencing.
Protect the barrel from rusting and avoid trash getting wet by using the sheet metal as a rain cover.
Choose a location in the backyard away from flammable materials. Make sure the barrel is not near wind currents traveling in the direction of the main structure.