After the origin of controlled fire, you have to believe that the creation of fire pits followed shortly thereafter. And now here you sit with an empty backyard, with the exception of a grill and/or some outdoor furniture on your patio. Now is the perfect time to add the fire pit you’ve been thinking about since last summer. Fire pits have become increasingly popular in recent years—they’re the top requested backyard design feature according to the American Society of Landscape Architects—and the trend shows no signs of losing steam.
Setting the Tone in your Backyard
Keep in mind that fire pits don’t take up a lot of space, and combined with their functionality, can be featured almost anywhere in unlimited shapes and sizes. The warmth and joy that radiates from the open fire can make parties, intimate gatherings, and simple marshmallow roasts the most sought-after and enjoyable activities of the spring, summer, and autumn months. However, fire pits are wrought with dangers, and to ensure everyone’s safety, there are important safety tips every fire pit owner should know.
Fire Pit Safety Basics
As with any situation involving fire, there are many safety measures homeowners can take to ensure that you and yours remain safe. The following safety protocols are a good jumping off point:
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Keep a first aid kit on hand for any accidental burns.
- Don’t light a fire in windy conditions. One stray spark can cause a large fire in no time.
- Don’t light a fire if a fire warning has been issued in your area.
- Don’t allow children to light or play near the fire. Closely supervise children at all times around your fire pit.
- Always use seasoned wood and kindling to light your fire. Avoid using soft woods (e.g., pine or cedar) because they can pop and throw sparks. Do NOT use accelerants (e.g., gasoline, lighter fluid, or alcohol) or trash to light a fire.
- Put out the fire completely before leaving the pit unattended or before going inside for the evening. Even the smallest fire can become a large fire quickly; as such, embers should be completely extinguished.
- Safely dispose of all ashes.
Fire Pit Positioning
You should set up your fire pit in an area that is well away (at least 10 feet) from adjacent walls or building overhangs. You’ll also want to make sure the area is free of combustible materials and on a noncombustible surface. Move all outdoor furniture at least 3 feet away from the fire pit as well. Keep an eye out for low-hanging branches and drooping power lines overhead, and place the pit well clear of them.
Fire pits are very popular, but you need to keep fire pit safety in mind when using one. The tips listed in this blog will help you get the most out of your enjoyable outdoor addition and reduce the likelihood of injury and/or damage to your property.