Fire Pit Safety
Fire incidents cause damage to properties across the country and they can also injure friends and family members. From simple structural fires to widespread wildfires, there are risks associated with building a fire. Make sure you take proper precautions around your fire pit.
Choose the Right Firewood
Knowing which type of wood to use helps create a safer environment for your gathering. Ideally, hardwood gathered from your yard and aged for several months is the best choice. Oak and cherry are both good options for fire pits. Alternatively, you can use softer woods like pine, but it isn’t recommended because these burn quickly and produce more smoke and sparks.
Don’t burn cured construction materials like plywood or pressure-treated lumber. These are processed with chemicals to make them better for construction that creates a health hazard when burned. Also, don’t burn garbage. Chemicals are released and trash like newspaper and cardboard are lightweight. Once on fire, they can blow away and start a fire elsewhere.
Create an Environment for Fire Pit Safety
Keep seating 10 feet away from the fire. Never use a fire pit beneath an awning or overhanging trees. Pay attention to the environment to make your evening safe. Observe the wind direction when you arrange seating. Watch for local burn-bans to make sure conditions are okay to build a fire outdoors.
Don’t Leave the Flame Unattended
A sober adult should always be present to tend to the fire in case flames get out of control. Make sure the fire stays within the fire pit and keep an extinguisher nearby for emergencies. A bucket of sand and/or a garden hose are helpful for quickly extinguishing small fires that may start from materials escaping the fire pit.
Wear Safe Clothing
Wear well-fitted clothing around the fire. Loose shirts and flowing skirts are especially dangerous near flames. Keep long hair tied back and use a pair of leather gloves handy to protect your hands when adding more firewood or tending the flames.
Completely Extinguish the Fire
At the end of the night, take the time to properly extinguish your fire so the blaze doesn’t spread to other areas of your backyard or surrounding properties. Extinguish the fire by pouring water or sand over the coals until the flames are completely out.
Following these safety guidelines will help keep your evenings by the fire safer and accident-free.