A fire pit in your backyard is a great place to relax with friends and family or unwind after a long, stressful day. Because you will be around flames, be careful when using your fire pit to keep your gatherings safe and comfortable.
Using Your Fire Pit in the Best Location
It’s important to choose the proper location for your fire pit. Learn about your local laws and stay informed about whether fire advisories are in effect in your area. There are often fire bans in place during dry conditions to help prevent the spread of wildfires.
When choosing where to place your fire pit, make sure that it is at least 10 feet from your home and any other buildings. Install it so the flames will be away from trees or bushes and make sure there is a solid foundation of paving stones or concrete. Don’t build a fire around tall grass or near flammable materials like the patio umbrella or your BBQ grill and its propane tank.
Stay Safe by Choosing the Right Fire Pit
When shopping, choose a fire pit that is at least six inches deep and two feet across to contain a good-sized fire. The base of the pit should be sturdy and able to support the weight of the bowl and firewood. If you’re adding seating around your fire pit, purchase items that are flame resistant. Use metal patio chairs or concrete benches.
Check Weather Conditions
Weather is important for fire safety. Don’t light a fire when it is windy because this increases the chance of embers escaping and igniting leaves or brush elsewhere. If you have young children who are excited about enjoying a fire, explain to them that if the wind picks up, the flames will have to be extinguished.
Don’t Leave a Fire Unattended
There should always be a responsible adult around the fire. If children or pets are nearby, keep them a safe distance away to prevent burns. Do not leave your fire unattended and only burn seasoned hardwood in it. Other materials that are “burnable,” like cardboard and newspaper, are not safe because they create airborne ash and debris.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected When Using a Fire Pit
Even with the proper precautions, you may still experience an out-of-control fire when using your fire pit. Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of water handy so that you will be able to extinguish it right away.
After building a fire, wait until the ashes are completely cooled down before disposing of them. A metal box or bucket is the safest way to store and transport ashes.