Fire Pit Safety

Fire pits have become a popular addition to today’s patios and backyards. They add drama and charm to outdoor living while providing an additional functional area for family and friends to gather. They offer a fun way to enjoy leisure time and entertaining, but always remember to exercise caution and practice safety so a good time won’t turn tragic.

Every time you light a fire, remember that basic safety precautions can prevent a tragedy. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your fire pit safely and with peace-of-mind.

The first decision to make is where you want the pit to be situated.  Do not pick an area that is near or too close to structures, trees or overhangs.

Always place the fire pit in an open area on a solid surface to prevent it from tipping over. You can use a freestanding fire pit on a patio if the base material is fire-resistant or protected, but never use your fire pit on a wooden deck.

Fire pits are designed for outdoor use. Don’t place a fire pit in an enclosed area, as fumes can be harmful without proper ventilation. Never use a fire pit indoors that is intended for outdoor use.

Make sure you understand your city or county’s regulations regarding the use of a fire pit.

When purchasing a fire pit, always follow the assembly instructions or have it assembled professionally. Either way, read the manual that comes with your fire pit and follow instructions. Call the manufacturer if you have any questions.

Start your fire small, and only use recommended fire starters. Never use an accelerant or gasoline to start a fire. Do not allow children or someone with little experience to light the fire.

As a precaution, the fire should be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. Only burn firewood. To reduce the risk of burning embers spilling out, never pile wood too high.

Never leave the fire unattended. Fire pits should be adult-supervised at all times. Extreme caution should be exercised when children are nearby.

Never burn paper or waste products. A fire pit should never be used as an incinerator.

Always keep a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or large bucket of sand nearby to smother the fire if necessary. Your fire extinguisher should be handy, in good working condition, and not close to its expiration date.

If possible, use a screen to prevent sparks from shooting out of the  fire pit. The screen prevents burning embers from escaping.

Use common sense. Don’t build a fire on a windy day.

Exercise courtesy as well as caution. You don’t want smoke blowing into neighbor’s homes and backyards.

It is best to to extinguish the fire completely once you have finished using it. Use a fire extinguisher, or enough water to let the hot coals or wood soak. Pour water until there’s no steam. If possible, cover the fire pit with a lid once you have put the fire out.

Prior to disposal, do not store wood remnants, coals or ashes in bags immediately. Put them in a metal ash bucket.

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