Enjoying a Fire Pit Safely

When most people think of outdoor fires, they think about the warmth, ambiance, and fun that comes with them. However, fire pits can be dangerous if not used properly. This article will discuss some fire pit safety tips, along with what to do before building one.

Always Have a Fire Extinguisher Close by

Always keep a fire extinguisher close by when using a fireplace or outdoor fire pit. It only takes seconds for the flame to spread out of control, causing severe damage. A fire extinguisher will help control a fire that escapes outside of the intended burning area.

Choose a class A extinguisher that puts out fires from wood or paper. If you plan on doing any cooking near your fire pit, have an additional extinguisher that can put out oil and grease fires, or make sure that your extinguisher has an additional class B rating. Keep the fire extinguisher within easy reach of where you are using your fireplace or outdoor fire pit so you can act quickly if there is an emergency.

Don’t Put Flammable Materials Near the Fire to Ensure Fire Pit Safety

Don’t keep flammable items near your fire pit, as flames and embers can travel farther than you think. Keep your fire pit away from landscaping and structures, such as your home and other outbuildings. Place the fire pit 10-15 feet away from flammable structures and vegetation to keep them from catching on fire.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended

Never leave a fire unattended, even for a few minutes, as a fire can start quickly. When you are done with the fire for the evening, douse it with sand and/or water so that you fully extinguish any glowing coals or embers. Anything still burning can ignite and cause a larger fire.

Only Burn Wood in Your Fire Pit

The fire pit is only for burning wood. Never burn trash such as plastic, rubber, or foam. These materials release toxic fumes that are harmful to breathe and can cause serious illness.

Keep Your Fire Pit Away From Grass

Not only should your fire pit be placed away from buildings, shrubs, and trees, but it needs to be safe from the lawn as well. If you have an elevated fire pit, place it on a concrete or gravel surface.

A fire pit built into or on the ground must have a proper stone or rock barrier built around it to separate it from the surrounding area. Any wayward sparks should not land on a flammable surface just outside of the fire pit.

Keep Children Away From Your Fire Pit

Teach kids not to play near the fire pit. Always designate an adult to supervise if there are kids outside while there is a fire burning. They should never be allowed to manage any part of the fire, such as stoking coals or placing wood.

Teach Your Family Fire Pit Safety

Everyone in your family, children included, needs to understand basic fire safety. Make sure that they know what to do in case of a fire. Teach your family where to find the fire extinguisher and how to use it to stop a fire.

Fire pits and fireplaces are great for adding extra warmth, but they are dangerous when not used correctly. Make sure that you follow the safety tips outlined above to ensure fire pit safety and an incident-free gathering.

First Impression Home Inspections provides inspection services and radon testing. Contact us to schedule an appointment in the Shenandoah Valley.