An outdoor fire provides a warm place to gather on a cool evening. Get ready to enjoy nights by the fire by following these fire pit safety tips.

Fire Pit Safety Tips

The Location of the Fire Pit is Important for Safety

Where you place the fire pit matters. Install it at least 15 to 20 feet away from buildings, trees, shrubs, and outdoor seating areas. The fire pit should not be under an overhang or inside a structure, like a gazebo. Floating embers might ignite anything above the pit.

Before you install a fire pit, check with your HOA or local building authorities. They may have guidelines that you’ll need to follow.

Keep People at a Safe Distance

Once you get the fire pit installed, keep chairs and benches a safe distance away from the flames. If you have children, talk to them about fire safety. An adult should always be present to watch children around the fire pit.

Choose Your Fuel Carefully

Your fire pit will be fueled by gas or wood. If gas is the fuel, learn where the shut-off valve is. If you’re burning wood, use seasoned wood in your fire pit. It should be cut at least six months prior to burning it. Hardwoods like oak create fewer sparks compared to softer woods. Any wood pieces you use should be no longer than three-fourths the diameter of the pit. Never use gasoline or lighter fuel to start the fire.

Safety When Using the Fire Pit

When enjoying the fire pit, use common sense precautions. Don’t light a fire in high winds. Use a fire screen to protect the area from sparks and stray embers. Have a bucket filled with sand close at hand for a gas fire. A water hose nearby can extinguish a wood fire. Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher close by for emergencies. Know how to use it and replace it when it is expired.

Extinguish the Fire Completely

Always make sure the fire is properly extinguished before you head inside for the night. Turn off the gas and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for extinguishing the flame.

For wood fires, make sure all embers are out and cool. Buried embers can smolder for hours. Using water to extinguish the embers can do the job, but it can also damage the fire pit if it’s made from metal.

Maintain the Fire Pit

To keep the fire pit in good condition, take proper steps in maintaining it:

  • Remove leaves and debris from the fire pit before you use it. They create unsafe conditions.
  • Use a cover when the fire pit is not in use. The cover will protect the pit from rain, snow, and ice. Select one that is weather resistant. You can find options made from vinyl, canvas, or stainless steel.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning the fire pit. Simple soap and water may be enough to do the job. Cleaning the fire pit between uses will keep it looking great and working well.

Enjoying the warmth of a fire on a cool evening is easy with an outdoor fire pit. Fire pit safety tips will help keep your backyard fires fun and safe.

Sunbelt Inspections offers home inspections to customers in Houston and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule our services.