A warm fire enhances your outdoor spaces and provides a relaxing place to spend time with friends and family. If you have a backyard fire pit, keep your loved ones safe by taking precautions while enjoying the flames. Here are a few helpful tips for fire pit safety.
Position Your Fire Pit Away from the House
When installing a fire pit, keep it at least 10′ away from the house, trees, and any outbuildings. Never light a fire on an enclosed porch or inside a gazebo. Make sure there is nothing overhead that might catch fire. Place the fire pit away from patio umbrellas, awnings, and overhanging tree branches. Keep the fire pit a safe distance from patio furniture and shrubbery as well.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Be careful anytime you are around an open flame. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure you know how to use it. You can use the acronym PASS to remind family members of the proper way to extinguish a fire. Pull the pin to remove it. Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the trigger. Sweep the extinguisher from side to side.
You can also be prepared by keeping the garden hose or a bucket of sand nearby to extinguish any embers that escape the fire pit.
Never Burn Garbage
Only use seasoned hardwood in your fire pit. Cardboard boxes, newspapers, and other garbage is not safe to burn. Besides giving off harmful fumes, some materials are so lightweight they catch fire and drift upwards with the smoke to start a fire elsewhere.
Proper Clothing for Fire Pit Safety
If you will be tending to the fire, make sure to wear proper clothing. Avoid baggy clothes and loose sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back. Keep a pair of heat-resistant gloves nearby to use when adding logs to the fire. This will help prevent splinters and burns.