With many people spending more time at home and the weather cooling off, fire pits are becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy time outdoors. Building a fire is easy and inexpensive. Sitting around a fire can actually lower blood pressure and help you relax. If you’ll be spending time gathering outside by the fire, use these tips for fire pit safety.

Practicing Safety Around a Fire Pit

Use Dry, Seasoned Wood

Most people don’t realize that fire safety begins with the materials being burned. Use only dry, untreated wood, and never burn things not intended for a fire pit. The greener the wood, the more likely it is to smoke, pop, and shoot embers outside the ring. Treated wood emits hazardous fumes, and other materials (like Styrofoam or paper) may float away and start a wildfire.

Maintain a Safe Zone

When building your fire pit, be sure there is a 6 to 10 feet clearance around the pit and keep it free of flammable materials, like dry leaves and grass. People new to backyard fire pits may unintentionally store materials like wood or starters close by, not aware that sparks from the fire could ignite them.

Keep clearance above your fire as well. Never build a fire on a covered porch, under a patio umbrella, or beneath trees, and keep the fire at least 15-20 feet away from buildings.

For Fire Pit Safety, Install it on Level Ground

Portable fire pits are sometimes prone to tipping. Firewood shifts when burning, and when things settle, a pit set up on uneven ground could tip over. Improve fire pit safety by installing your portable fire pit on level ground. Even if the fire bowl topples over, there’s less of a chance the burning contents will spill out far enough to cause great danger.

Stack the Firewood Wide

A tall stack of wood is a bad choice when it comes to fire pit safety. Higher stacks can fall, creating a rush of air and a fire hazard. If you must build a big fire, build wider instead to keep burning wood from tumbling down and sending ash and sparks flying.

Fire Pit Safety for Seating

You want to relax and stay warm around a fire, but remember that flames don’t have to touch an object for it to be damaged by the heat. Radiant heat can cause surrounding objects to melt, scorch, or even catch fire. Those looking to warm their toes may find the bottoms of their shoes melting if they’re not careful.

Make sure your family time isn’t interrupted by a burning chair or melted footwear by keeping everything at least three feet from the fire. Teach small children to stay a safe distance away from the edge of the fire pit.

Extinguishing the Fire

Anytime you’re around the fire, keep an extinguishing device nearby. This could be a garden hose, a bucket of water, or a chemical extinguisher. It’s important to have options in case the fire gets out of control.

Following these safety tips will help you have an enjoyable time around the fire while keeping friends and family safe.

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