If you’re tired of being indoors or if you’re hoping to host a gathering with friends and family, a fire pit is a great addition to your outdoor space. Live flame is not without risk, however. Here are some tips to boost fire pit safety so you can enjoy the backyard even when the weather cools off.
Fire Pit Safety: Location
When deciding where to place a fire pit in the yard, choose an area that is free of debris and a safe distance from shrubs, plants, and trees. The fire pit should not be installed under an awning, on a covered porch, or beneath overhanging branches.
Place the fire pit at least 15 feet away from the house and any outbuildings. Spread a layer of sand or stone over the ground before you install the fire pit.
Keeping Guests Safe
The burning logs may pop and spark and occasionally embers will fly from the fire pit. To keep your guests safe, make sure seating is placed at least 3-5 feet away. There should be enough space for guests to move around the pit freely.
If you purchase a fire pit instead of building your own, it may come with a screen. Use this screen to cover the fire and help keep embers contained.
Have Safety Equipment Near the Fire Pit
Any time there is an open fire burning outdoors, you should have safety equipment on hand. Important safety essentials include a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, bucket of sand, and a garden hose that is ready for use.
If the flames start to get too large, keep them in check by using a garden house on the mist setting. Sand or a garden hose will come in handy in case an ember escapes the fire pit. You can also pour the sand onto a wood-burning fire pit to help extinguish the flames at the end of the evening.
It’s smart to have a fire extinguisher ready in case of an emergency. Never use an extinguisher on a person. If a friend or family member catches fire, a fire blanket is a better option to smother the flames.
Keep Kids Safe Around the Fire
If there are young children around, teach them about fire pit safety. They should stay at least 10′ away from the fire and make sure an adult is always around to supervise.
Your guests can enjoy a warm, pleasant, and safe evening by the fire. Take care when starting and maintaining the fire and keep safety equipment nearby. Extinguish the flames completely if you leave the property or go to bed for the evening.