Fire Pit Safety

Nothing beats hanging out with family and friends by the fire pit on a summer evening – roasting hot dogs, making s’mores.  Outdoor fire pits keep the good times going even as the night air turns chilly.  Keep these fire pit safety tips in mind to keep your friends and family safe and your friendly fire from becoming an out-of-control inferno.

Location, location, location – the right place to put your fire pit

Locate your fire pit on a level surface made of stone, concrete or brick.  Don’t put your fire pit on a grassy surface, a wood deck, or in an enclosed area like a screened-in porch or garage.  Keep your fire pit at least 10 feet away from anything flammable – your house, trees, etc.

Use the right fuel – Light your fire pit safely

For traditional wood burning fire pits, use dry, seasoned wood that was cut at least six months earlier.  Make sure the wood logs are no longer than ¾ of the pit’s diameter to prevent sparks from flying.  Start the flame safely – in other words, don’t use lighter fluid, kerosene or gas to light the fire.

Be prepared – in case the flames get out of control

Keep your garden hose, a bucket of sand, or a fire extinguisher handy just in case things get out of control.  If using a garden hose, keep the nozzle set to the spray setting.  Sometimes, a focused stream of water can actually spread burning embers, so the spray setting is safer and more effective.  If using a fire extinguisher, use one that is Class B and C or multipurpose rating.  Sand is excellent for extinguishing fire by simply dumping it directly on the flames.

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