Fire pits are great spots for gathering on cooler evenings. Family and friends can spend time outdoors enjoying the warmth and comfort of the fire. Make safety a priority to help prevent accidents. Let’s look at a few tips for fire pit safety.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
Select a Safe Spot
When setting up your fire pit, select a space that is level and at least 10 feet away from bushes and trees. Keep the fire pit away from the house, outbuildings, and other structures, and away from canopies, awnings, and patio umbrellas. Trim away any overhanging branches.
Allow Plenty of Space
When choosing a location for your fire pit, make sure there’s enough space for chairs and plenty of room for people to move around easily and safely. All chairs or benches should be placed on stable and level ground.
Use a Screen for Fire Pit Safety
Once you have the fire started, put a fire screen in place. Many fire bowls and purchased fire pits come with one. If you don’t have a screen, shop for one that fits your fire pit. The screen will keep sparks and embers from flying away from the fire. It also helps block pets and kids from getting too close.
Choose Quality Wood
If your fire pit is wood-burning, use wood that’s been seasoned for at least six months. Freshly cut wood contains a lot of moisture, is slower to ignite, and will produce more smoke as the fire burns. Choose oak and other hardwoods because they generate fewer sparks. The wood should be cut to a length that’s less than 3/4 the diameter of the fire pit.
Don’t use construction materials as firewood. Some lumber is treated with chemicals to prevent rot and insect infestation, and burning this treated lumber releases those chemicals into the air.
Have Safety Equipment Near the Fire Pit
No matter how many precautions you take, you should always have fire safety equipment nearby when you light the fire.
Keep a bucket of sand nearby to extinguish the fire. Always have a garden hose close to put out the flames. The spray setting on the garden hose will stop flare-ups. An all-purpose fire extinguisher is a must. Keep one easily accessible when using the fire pit and make sure you know how to use it.
Extinguish the Fire
At the end of the evening, extinguish the fire completely. If you are using a pre-built fire pit, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to put out the fire. Not following directions could be dangerous. For example, pouring cold water into a hot ceramic or terracotta fire pit could cause it to crack. If you have a gas fire pit, turn off the gas before you extinguish the flames.
Teach Children About Fire Pit Safety
You want everyone to have a great time while enjoying the fire. Keep kids and pets safe by teaching them to stay away from the fire pit. Young children won’t understand the heat and danger of the flames, however. Always have an adult present to keep an eye on the kids.
Before you light up your next fire, have safety measures in place. Be sure to implement these fire pit safety tips every time you’re enjoying a warm blaze in the evening.