5 Important Fire Pit Safety Tips
A fire pit can turn up the heat at your next backyard bash, but make sure you keep a few safety tips in mind. Since they’re affordable and easy to install, fire pits add year-round entertainment to any property. From backyard camping to Saturday night s’mores to bonfires after the big game, almost every event can be improved by including a fire pit. As long as proper fire safety precautions are followed. Operating a fire pit can get quickly out of hand, so being safe and well-schooled in proper procedures couldn’t be more important. Here are five ways to ensure your fire pit activities don’t go up in smoke.
Watch the Wind
Before starting a fire, check a weather-vane or windsock to see which direction the wind is blowing. Position chairs so that no one is facing the smoke and remove any downwind fire hazards in case of blowing embers. Never start a fire on blustery days, just to be on the safe side.
Give Your Fire Pit Space
Whether you’re installing a state-of-the-art fire pit or rigging an impromptu campfire, positioning is always important. Never start a fire under porches, canopies, or low-hanging tree branches. Fires should only be built on non-flammable surfaces like concrete or patio blocks and surrounded by brick, stone, or sand. You can light fires on solid, flat ground, as long as it’s at least 10 feet away from structures. Although further distances are preferred for extra safety.
Know Your Wood
At Excel Fencing & Decking, we know wood, so take it from Maryland’s preferred decking professionals: not all wood is created equal. When it comes to burning, stick to hardwood like hickory and oak. Cedar, pine, and other softer woods are prone to popping, which can cause sparks to fly. Never burn garbage or paper products, either, as they also can lead to sparking in and around your fire pit.
Be Well Equipped
You never know when an accident will happen, so make sure all the necessary safety equipment is nearby. Pails of water, a garden hose, and dry chemical fire extinguisher should always be on-hand, as well as a fire blanket in case of escaping flames or embers. A pair of fire gloves will help you handle burning wood safely. Then, at the end of the night, fires should be drowned with water and covered with dirt. We recommend that you keep a shovel and pail close by the fire pit, to help you remember.
Teach Safety Procedures
Make sure all members of your family are trained in fire pit safety measures. Provide regular instruction on how to properly extinguish fires and what to do in case of emergency. Compose a safety checklist with important tips. Such as: never leave a fire unattended, never wear loose-fitting clothing, and never start a fire with lighter fluid or other flammable liquids! Make sure emergency telephone numbers are posted near the phone. Additionally, holding periodic fire safety drills can keep emergency procedures fresh in family members’ minds.
At Excel Fencing & Decking, we have a lot of experience with fire pits, so give us a call if you’re considering one for your property. Our trained professionals can help you decide where to install one on your deck, patio, or other outdoor space. They’ll even offer additional ideas to keep your family safe!