Everyone enjoys a cool evening gathered outside around a fire. Make sure your guests know about fire pit safety so that the evening is incident-free. Whether you are a seasoned fire pit owner or you just got your first fire pit, there are a few essential tips for keeping your fires as safe as possible to protect your guests and property.
Choosing the right area for your fire pit requires some strategy. Place your fire pit at least 15′ away from all structures. Flat ground is optimal, especially for pre-built fire pits that are on a raised base.
Make sure there are no overhanging branches above your fire pit; this means no trees or shrubs, even if you think they are at a “safe” height. Depending on your area, the minimum distance that your fire must be from any structures varies, so consult your local laws and ordinances.
Fire Pit Safety Etiquette
Keep some form of extinguisher nearby, whether you choose an actual fire extinguisher or you opt to have your garden hose or a bucket of sand nearby. Always make sure you have a way to put out a fire in case of drifting embers or worse.
Keep a strict eye on kids and pets for fire pit safety. Make sure that children know fire is not a toy and to be careful around a fire at all times. Not taking proper precautions is risky to all people in the vicinity and your property. Don’t allow pets around the fire pit and always have an appointed adult to supervise children when gathered around the fire.
Using any sort of fuel other than kindling and newspaper is ill-advised. Never burn trash or pressure-treated lumber as they will release toxic chemicals into the air. If black smoke comes from the flames at any point, that is a problem. This can be caused by plastics, rubber, and other debris.
To stay safe, only burn well-seasoned hardwood. If you plan to cook food over the fire or the coals, make sure that the carbon is burned off of the wood first. In other words, never cook on an open flame, and wait until your coals are bright white before using them for cooking.
Simple & Smart Fire Pit Safety
The most important things to remember are that you must respect the fire, and never underestimate the damage that a single spark can cause. Fire pit safety can mean the difference between a fun night with family and friends and an out-of-control wildfire that spreads beyond your home. Practice these fire pit safety tips and you’ll keep people and your property out of harm’s way.