Firepit Safety Tips
An evening fire is an ideal way to end the night with friends and family. When you're hosting a barbecue or an intimate gathering of close friends, you can conclude with toasted marshmallows and fireside stories in your own backyard. Of course, when you're setting up a fire, you want to be sure to follow all local rules and regulations about firepit usage. In addition to local ordinances, take into account these firepit safety guidelines.
- Place your firepit in a wide-open area. Make sure the firepit isn't underneath tree branches or near bushes that can easily catch fire. Aim to keep the pit 10 feet away from any large structures or plant life.
- Cover your firepit with a fire screen. With a screen, you won't have to worry about large embers popping out of your firepit.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. You'll want to have something to douse the fire quickly. If you don't want to use a fire extinguisher, you can use water or sand to put the fire out as an alternative.
- Light the fire with your back to the wind. You don't want the flames or ashes blowing into your face.
- Use seasoned wood. With dry seasoned wood, your fire will burn safely without emitting dangerous gasses like creosote.
- Properly dispose of ashes. Even ashes that are a few days old can inflame. Wait a day for ashes to cool; then dampen them and store the remains in a fire-proof metal container.
- Don't clutter the area around the fire. Clear the space surrounding your fire in case small embers and sparks pop out of the firepit.
- Don't throw garbage into the fire. Don't allow anything but wood in your firepit. Many materials, like plastic and Styrofoam, can produce harmful smoke when burned.
- Don’t allow unsupervised children to use the firepit. Kids should never be near a fire without adult supervision.
- Don’t leave a fire unattended. When you're finished with the fire, make sure you smother it completely.
- Don't use lighter fluid or other flammable liquids. Use specially-designed starter logs or matches that you can toss into the kindling.
- Don’t let the fire get too big. As the size of the fire increases, the likelihood of injury or accidents increases, as well.