Fire pits create the perfect meeting place for making s’mores, catching up with friends, and relaxing with family during those cool summer nights. That said, it’s important to remember that a fire pit can also be dangerous when the proper precautions are not taken. Which is why we’ve compiled some fire safety tips to ensure you can enjoy quality time with your friends and loved ones as safely as possible.
What Is a Fire Pit?
Traditionally, fire pits are a recessed area in the ground where you can start your outdoor fires. They are typically 3-4 feet in diameter, 8 inches deep, and ideal for properties with the space for outdoor activities. The digging and installation of a fire pit should be done by a professional crew to ensure all proper codings and safety requirements are met.
There are also fire pit tables, which consist of a table with a fire pit running in the middle; fire pit bowls, which are a mobile type of fire pit; and many more size, style, and design options.
Safety Tip 1: Stay Informed About Local Laws and Regulations
Before investing in fire pit purchase, update yourself on any local restrictions for wood burning and the installation of outdoor fire pits. Read the local laws and regulations in your area beforehand to make sure you don’t face unwelcome surprises or hiccups down the line. You should also inquire with your homeowners or condo association.
Sometimes, the best choice for a fire pit are the smoke-free options, such as natural or propane gas. While this may not be the same as burning actual wood during camping, it’s definitely the easier and more efficient way to go.
Safety Tip 2: Location Matters
Obviously, fire pits will burn any wooden surfaces they come into close contact with, so it’s necessary to place any portable fire pits on suitable surfaces. Some of these include dirt, brick, concrete, slate or stone patios.
There are also certain distance requirements to keep in mind when choosing a location for traditional fire pits. Some areas even require inspections from local authorities to determine whether your location is safe for it. No matter which type of fire pit you decide on, you should make sure that it is in an area that is well away – at least 10 feet – from adjacent walls, tree branches, or building overhangs. We also advise arranging all outdoor furniture to sit at least 3 feet away from the open flame.
Long story short? You can’t haphazardly place your fire pit anywhere you wish. Consider the laws and the necessary safety precautions before setting anything up.
Safety Tip 3: Burn Wisely
Fire pit safety starts with using the right materials for starting a fire. If using wood, pick pieces that have been seasoned for at least six months and have a lower moisture content. Using construction materials, such as composite wood or plywood, is frowned upon since they could release toxic and hazardous fumes when burned. Some homeowners make the mistake of using any kind of wood for their fire pit, unaware that the fumes can be harmful to them and their loved ones.
You should also avoid using softwood, like birch or pine, since these tend to produce sparks and crackles. This is especially dangerous when you’re sitting close to the fire. Make sure that the logs used for the fire pit are three-quarters of the pit’s diameter in length or shorter.
The most dangerous thing anyone can do when starting a fire in a fire pit is use gasoline or lighter fluid to start things up. This can easily cause large, uncontrollable fires that spread and cause accidents. Remember – safety around a fire pit should always be the first priority.
Safety Tip 4: Prepare for Emergencies
Thinking about the worst-case scenario isn’t always fun, but fire safety can only be achieved if you have precautionary measures in place.
A fire blanket is good for extinguishing big fires, sparks, or people if someone’s clothes or any surrounding flammable materials were to catch on fire. All you have to do is wrap them with the fire blanket and ask them to stay still so the blanket can put out the fire faster. We also urge homeowners to keep a first aid kit handy for any accidental burns.
Do you have a fire extinguisher close by? If not, you should, and make sure it has a multipurpose ABC rating too. And avoid lighting a fire in windy conditions or when a fire warning has been issued in your area.
Finally, never allow children to light or play near the fire pit and closely supervise children at all times when a fire is going, never leaving them unattended.
Safety Tip 5: Extinguish Fires Properly
Some fire pits come with instructions for extinguishing fires after use. Read them before simply dousing the flames with water or attempting your own methods. Remember that there are fire pits, such as ceramic and metal fire options, that are sensitive and may crack after being doused with water.
If you notice the wood-fueled fire dying, we advise shoveling the ashes to put out the burning embers underneath them. Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before going indoors for the evening to ensure no embers can reignite later on – the smallest fire can become a large fire quickly.
Contact Our Qualified Crew for Service
If you’re looking for a reliable company in Broadway, Raleigh, Durham, or anywhere else in the surrounding area, call on our team for help. We can create a fire pit that matches your backyard aesthetic and falls into place with any and all of your unique needs. We can even customize it to match your size, style, and design preferences.
Reach out through our contact form or call (919) 747-1859 for more information.