Gather Round: Safety Tips for Your Backyard Fire Pit
Design landscaping trends list fire pits as the number one backyard accessory for today’s homeowners. In addition to providing both summer and winter backyard use, fire pits create a modern and hip way to dine, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors.
But fire itself presents several potential risks to your home and the people using it. Ensure the safety of everyone involved by following these five safety tips:
Choose a Sensible Design
Fire pits vary based on brand and provider. While some pits come as little more than a grill over a metal bowl, others offer aspects meant specifically for cuisine, sight, smell, and warmth. There are many options from places like Design Furnishings to find what is best for your family’s needs.
No matter what type of pit you choose, ask about certain safety features, such as a wide lip or edge between the actual flames and nearby onlookers. Young children and more reckless users often require added space to protect them from harm.
Ensure a Secure Base
Permanent and portable fire pits exist, but permanent ones present the least amount of risk since they won’t get knocked over or jostled during use.
Make sure the base or material below your pit remains fire-resistant. Concrete, stone, gravel, or brick all do the job well. For optimal safety, get a permanent fire pit with a built-in base of the same fire-resistant material as the bowl itself.
Leave Plenty of Space
Most city laws require that fire pits remain at least 10 feet away from any other structure, such as a shed, house, or neighbor’s property. Follow this standard stringently, and you won’t have to worry about accidental fires and the resulting damage expenses.
Use Approved Fuel
Higher-end fire pits come with safety-approve fuel, whether that’s gas, wood, or pellets. Stay away from flammable fluids such as gasoline and lighter fluid.
While these solutions create a quick flame when you need it, their speed and volatility outweigh their convenience. In that same vein, avoid soft woods like pine and cedar for fuel, since they tend to throw dangerous sparks.
Execute Safe Disposal
Some fire pit designs require regular disposal of the ashes, at times after every use. Whether your pit uses wood or pellets, obtain training on how to safely dispose of your fire pit’s ashes.
While the pit itself might seem safe, dumping still-warm ashes into your garbage bin could cause a much larger fire. Disclose your fire pit to your city and insurance provider. These organizations likely provide useful resources to maintain safety.