A fire pit is one of the most admired aesthetics for the outdoors. But before lighting it up, make sure that you are familiar with outdoor fire pit safety basics. There are various rules to keep in mind, from choosing the correct spot for the fire pit to identifying the precise woods to burn. Therefore, understand and share these safety tips with your loved ones before initiating the fire for seasonal fun.
The American Society of Landscape Architects stated that outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are the most popular and demanded design features. The warm atmosphere it creates for a cool evening is something to admire every day.
Whether you plan to add a fire pit or already have one, it is vital to consider the safety measures. As some people may think of an outdoor fire pit as an unsafe investment, using it safely makes it the best choice of purchase and experience. However, being precautious is necessary if you’re using a fire pit, as it may take seconds to turn a cozy fire into a blazing flame. Therefore, ensure that you keep the fire pit safe for friends and family while enjoying the ambiance.
Additionally, selecting the right site for placing a fire pit is the first rule of safety. Further, look into the local city and county authority law for the required distance to observe.
How To Make Fire Pits Safe
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The general rules suggest placing the fire pit at a safe distance from the house.
For this reason, keep the fires at least 10 to 20 feet away from the nearby plants, buildings, and homes. Further, if the fire pit is placed near the trees and chairs, a minimum of 15 feet away is suggested as a safety precaution. To make the guests comfortable and move safely, you can place lanterns around the ring of seating to provide extra light.
Helpful Suggestions for Fire Pit Safety
1. Pick The Perfect Spot
The local restrictions and codes must be evaluated regarding the placement, fire pits, and allowable types. Ensure further if having a fire pit affects the homeowner’s insurance. After assuring the basic provisions, protect the fire pit from the wind and flammable debris. A fire-resistant base can be made with the help of brick pavers, stone patios, and gravel, but a heat-shielding mat may be purchased to ‘’logs must be cut into a length of less than three-quarters of the pit’s diameter. Additionally, please refrain from using gasoline or lighter fluid to start a fire in a fire pit as it can result in an explosion.
2. Choose the Right Wood and Safe Fuel
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Safety begins with fuel in wood-stoked fire pits. Natural gas, propane, and wood are considered essential options for fueling a backyard fire pit. Further, at least six months of seasoned wood should be used as the burning wood. Refrain from construction materials such as composite woods or plywood, which gives out toxic fumes when burned. Birch and pine are the kind of softwoods that produce more sparkles and crackles than hickory or oak, which are seasoned hardwoods. The length of the wooden logs must be cut into a length of less than three-quarters of the pit’s diameter. Additionally, please refrain from using gasoline or lighter fluid to start a fire in a fire pit as it can result in an explosion.
3. Ensure Having Nearby Safety Equipment
A screen for the fire pit while burning the fire pit is essential for safety. Further, keeping a garden hose or a bucket of sand is a good idea to deal with wood fires’ stubborn and defiant sparks. For instant spray, install a hose-end multi-pattern nozzle to keep the situation in control. However, the spray type plays an essential role as a direct stream of water can spread sparks, and the shower type can flare up the fire. You can use medium velocity water spray systems for fire extinguishment.
4. Fire Blanket Safety
To assist in extinguishing the fire, sparks, or helping an individual who caught fire, investing in a fire blanket can be an important decision. In addition, keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher handy with a multipurpose, Class B, or Class C rating, which must be fully charged. Further, it is essential to understand the range of effectiveness from 6 to 10 feet and utilize it efficiently. In addition, turn off the heat source on gas fire pits before burning the flame. Also, avoid windy conditions while lighting a fire.
5. Keep Chairs Away from the Fire
There are various types of chairs suitable to put near the fire pit. For instance, the seating arrangement should provide enough room for folks to move and rise without the risk of tumbling into the fire. Secondly, to hinder the seat spot from being drawn too close to the flames, built-in seating and heavy chairs may be the prime choice.
6. Don’t Stand close to the Fire Pit
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In the heat of s’mores session, the family or friends can get excited and may inch a little too close to the flames even after knowing the safety precautions. This is where the clothes, hair, or other materials are at risk of catching fire. Make sure your hair is tied back, and sleeves are rolled up when you are near the fire, roasting food over an open flame, or tending a fire.
7. Never Leave a Fire Unattended
Do not leave the fire unattended even if the fire has died down and only the embers are left. If you leave the fire pit unattended for a few minutes to get a beverage or get a bathroom break, give the responsibility of watching the fire to someone else. The tiny flames may seem harmless, but they are still a potential danger to safety. One of the most prominent examples is wildfires in U.S history which are usually caused by extinguished fires. Turn logs and pour water over live embers to ensure that all wood has stopped burning.
8. Be Cautious about the No-Burn Alerts
Various municipalities issue no-burn alerts for the protection of local air quality. The alert is issued when weather conditions and high emissions merge to convert quality air into unhealthy. Disobedience and lack of cooperation of a no-burn order can result in a fine. Further, it puts the community’s health at risk. So before lighting the fire pit, ensure that the no-burn alert is not active in your area.
Ensure that the fire pit is not burned with a flammable liquid like petrol etc., as it is extremely dangerous. Light a store-bought fire lighter and cover it with small sticks to initiate the fire, or light a crumpled newspaper piece to do so. As the fire starts to burn, you can add larger wooden sticks till adding a log or two.
9. Talk About Fire Safety
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Before heading out to the backyard to enjoy your fire pit, fire safety conversations must occur with every family member, especially children. The safety tips regarding fire are best explained at home. For instance, most babies and toddlers usually understand the meaning of “hot” and avoid touching it. But having a fireplace or fire pit at home should make the parents extra careful regarding their children being safe from the dangers it can cause. For this reason, discuss the safety precautions thoroughly with your children to protect them from greater harm.
10. Supervise children
Further, children may abuse fire pits as a sandbox because of how it looks. Therefore, create a boundary at least three to four feet from the fire pit area to restrain them from stepping on sand-covered hidden coals. Just as you provide the supervision regarding the swimming pool, in the same way, provide appropriate supervision about the fire pits to your children.
11. Use a fire glove
Having a set of different fireplace tools may not be enough, and you might need a pair of gloves to protect yourself from the flame or heat generated from a fire pit. You can hang them on a fireplace screen, which complements the fireplace tools alongside the fire pit. These gloves, however, can also be used for an outdoor fire pit.
Tips for Extinguishing the Outdoor Fire Pit Safely
Douse the fire properly when you are done relishing the fire. Most fire pit manufacturers provide specific instructions for extinguishing a fire. Therefore, before putting out the fire review instructions properly. Let the fire burn out naturally if possible till the wood almost turns into ash. You can stop adding fuel one hour before calling it a night
Enjoy the Backyard Fire Pit Safely
Fire pits play an important role in unwinding the cozy memories and good time spent with friends. Most importantly, it is safe to have outdoor fire pits as long as the necessary precautions are considered. These tips prevent unwanted damage to the people and property, resulting in a huge mess. For this reason, keep these tips in mind before you proceed with the setup and avoid using toxic fluids that may result in an explosion. Moreover, never leave the fire unattended. Further, ensure you have a high-quality fire pit and good fire pit tools designed specifically for safety purposes.