An outdoor fire pit is a nice addition to your backyard. It provides the perfect place for friends and family to gather for a fun evening, but only if used safely. Follow these important fire pit safety tips when enjoying a fire.
Fire Pit Safety: Proper Placement
One of the most important fire pit safety tips is to choose the appropriate area for building a fire. Look for space where the ground is level and there are no plants, trees, or shrubs nearby. The area should ideally have a range of at least 15 feet of clear space around it.
Don’t place your fire pit too close to your home, garage, or outbuilding. Keep chairs around it at a safe distance. As an added safety measure, put sand or other non-combustible materials beneath your fire pit before installing it. Whether you’re building your fire pit or purchasing one, there are plenty of safe options to fit your needs.
As you inspect the area around your fire pit, you should also check the area above it. Don’t build a fire under an overhang or canopy, beneath large tree branches, or in a partially enclosed area. Trim branches above the pit so you don’t risk a spark flying up and setting the tree on fire.
Lighting the Fire
Once your pit is installed in a safe spot, it’s ready for use. Choose wood that has been seasoned for a minimum of six months. Softer woods generate more sparks than hardwoods, so hardwoods are considered safer to burn. The size of the wood shouldn’t exceed three-quarters of the size of your fire pit. Don’t use lighter fluid, gas, or any other materials that may let out toxic fumes in your fire.
Be Prepared for Fire Pit Safety
Once you have your fire burning, be prepared with safety essentials should anything happen. Don’t light a fire when the wind is strong. Have a fire extinguisher on hand or keep a bucket of sand and the garden hose nearby to put out the flames if they get out of control.
Properly Extinguish the Flames
When you’re done enjoying your fire, make sure it is out completely before you leave. Depending on what type of fire pit you have, you may need to extinguish it a certain way. If your fire pit came with instructions, review those ahead of time so you can safely extinguish the flames at the end of the night without damaging the fire pit.