Backyard Recreational Fires: Safety & Info
Outdoor gatherings are always better with a crackling fire to sit around sharing stories or making s’mores. However, open flames can be dangerous! So, if you are planning on installing or building a fire pit, keep these safety tips in mind.
#1. Choose a level spot a safe distance from your home and landscaping.
Set up your fire pit 10 to 20 feet away from your home and landscaping without anything above it. Fire safety experts emphasize that fire pits should never be placed in a partially enclosed area or near a building overhang. Instead, your fire pit should be in a clear space surrounded by non-combustible materials like sand, stones, and brick. Otherwise, stray embers in the smoke could ignite nearby landscaping or overhanging materials or branches. It’s also important to choose a spot that is level, especially if you set up a portable fire pit so it won’t tip over.
#2. Keep seats a safe distance from the pit.
When a fire is blazing, seats should be set up at a safe distance. You don’t want you or a guest to accidentally fall into the fire or breath in too much smoke. To prevent these risks, it’s a great idea to build seating around your fire pit a safe distance away. Built-in seating also makes your fire pit look and feel more inviting.
#3. Only burn seasoned wood.
What you burn has a significant impact on the safety of your backyard fire. You should never burn plywood, composite woods, plastics, or other manufactured materials. These materials release toxic fumes that aren’t safe to breathe in. Softwoods, like birch and pine, are safer to burn, but they tend to produce more sparks. The best firewood for outdoor flames is seasoned hardwood. It burns longer and produces less smoke and sparks than softwood.
#4. Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to start a fire.
All you need to light a campfire or fire pit is scraps of newspaper, small twigs, and other kindling. You should never use lighter fluid or gasoline. It can make the fire ignite explosively and get out of control.
#5. Be prepared to control the flames.
It’s wise to have sand, a garden hose or fire extinguisher, and a fire blanket nearby when your fire pit is burning. If you have a screen for your fire pit, get into the habit of using it. These simple safety precautions can save a life.
#6. Always keep a close eye on children and pets near the pit.
Children and pets are often attracted to fire. If you aren’t watching, they can get too close before you have a chance to catch them. That’s why it is essential to always keep your eye on children or pets near a fire.
#7. Douse the fire to put it out.
Just like when you’re done using a fireplace, once you are done enjoying the fire, put it out! The best way to douse the flames depends on the type of fire pit you have. If you have a gas fire pit, you can turn it off along with the gas. If you have a wood-burning stone fire pit, you can use water. If you have a metal or ceramic fire pit, do not use water to douse the flames! That could crack or warp it. Instead, smother the fire with sand, dirt, or a snuffer. Don’t let the fire burn out on its own! If you don’t douse the fire, there may be hot embers in it that re-ignite the fire while you sleep.
A fire pit is a beautiful backyard addition, especially if you love hosting parties. When you install and use your fire pit, be sure to keep these seven backyard recreational fire tips in mind! You could save a life by clearing a safe space for your fire pit, keeping seats from getting too close, and practicing smart fire safety. You can find a large selection of fire pits, ranging in styles, sizes, and fuel type, at Burlington Fireplace. Stop by our location or check out our online store to find the perfect fire pit for your backyard!