As the warmer weather approaches, many homeowners look forward to spending time outdoors with friends and family. A backyard fire pit is a great addition to your yard, courtyard, or patio, but prioritizing safety is essential. Here are a few tips for fire pit safety to help ensure your backyard gatherings are enjoyable and injury-free.
Choose a Safe Location
When building or installing a fire pit, verify the area is level and non-combustible. A flat surface such as concrete or brick will provide a fire-resistant area to enjoy the flames. Don’t put a fire pit in a grassy area or directly on a wooden deck. Make sure it is at least 15 feet from your home and any outbuildings, and never install a fire pit beneath trees, under an awning, or on an enclosed porch.
Fire Pit Safety: Keep an Extinguisher Nearby
Anytime you’re enjoying a fire, have a fire extinguisher within easy reach in case of an emergency. Know how to use it properly and verify it is fully charged. Even on a peaceful evening, the wind may pick up and blow embers out of the fire pit. If the grass catches fire, you’ll be ready if you have an extinguisher nearby.
Burn Dry, Seasoned Hardwood
Burning wet or green wood creates excess smoke, which can harm your health. Friends and neighbors won’t enjoy gathering around a smokey fire pit. Only use seasoned wood when building a fire.
Supervise Children and Pets
If you have young children or pets, supervise them around the fire. Teach children about fire safety, how to stay at least 5 feet away from the fire pit, and ensure they understand not to touch the fire or throw anything into it. Keep pets on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from getting too close to the flames.
Burn Small Amounts of Wood
Once the fire is burning, it can be tempting to pile wood onto the fire to keep it going. However, overloading the fire pit can be dangerous. Too much fuel can cause the fire to grow out of control, potentially causing injury or property damage. Use a moderate amount of wood, and keep a close eye on the fire at all times.
Use Proper Tools to Promote Fire Pit Safety
When tending the fire, use long-handled tools to manage the firewood. Tongs, leather gloves, and a poker will allow you to move the wood safely and avoid getting too close to the flames.
Following these tips, you can enjoy cozy evenings by the fire pit while keeping your home and family safe. Safety should be your top priority when dealing with fire.