Gathering around a fire is nice and cozy, but can also be dangerous. Backyard fires can get out of control and cause a disaster. Important factors to think about are location, fuel, and safety equipment. In order to have a safe fire pit, consider these 6 important tips.
Types of Wood for a Safe Fire Pit
Some woods are better to burn in a fire pit than others. Never use treated lumber because it releases toxic fumes when burned.
One of the keys to having a safe fire pit is burning seasoned hardwoods like hickory and oak. Hardwoods don’t pop as frequently as softwoods, like pine, so there are fewer stray embers that could land on you, your yard, or your house.
Never Leave Your Fire While it’s Still Burning
This tip may be obvious, but never leave your fire pit unattended. You’d be surprised at how many people walk away from the fire without thinking about it. Once you’re inside the house, you may even completely forget that you have a fire burning.
Unattended fires are especially dangerous if your area has been dry. All it takes for a fire to spread is for a few embers to fly out of the fire pit and land on a pile of dry leaves.
Place the Fire Pit in a Safe Place
Whether you’re planning on owning a portable or permanent fire pit, a safe location is essential. An important tip is to place the fire pit 10 to 20 feet from any structure or tree.
You should also never place your fire pit underneath low hanging branches that could potentially be ignited by the flames. One of the best ways to contain the fire is to build it with non-flammable materials like rocks or bricks.
Be Prepared with an Extinguisher
Even if you have a safe fire pit, keep an extinguisher close by. If you don’t have access to an extinguisher, a bucket of sand will come in handy if the fire gets out of control.
When the fire pit is completely cool, safely dispose of the ashes into a metal can. A metal container is safe for the ashes in case any are still warm.
Wear Safe Clothes
Clothes made of rayon and cotton are highly flammable and can be dangerous to wear around a fire pit. Baggy clothing like nightgowns and sweatshirts can also pose a threat to you. If your kids are around, make sure their shoes are tied so they won’t trip and stumble.
Seating Arrangements for a Safe Fire Pit
Make sure everyone sits a safe distance from the fire. Sitting too close to it can lead to burns. One way to keep people at a safe distance is to install permanent seating around your fire pit that can’t be moved closer.