As the season changes into Fall and cooler weather arrives, you’re likely thinking of ways to go outside, enjoy the cooler weather, and even have a backyard fire. Backyard fire pits are great ways to gather the family and friends around to enjoy the beautiful fall temperatures; however, there are some safety precautions you should take.
Here is our list of backyard fire pit safety precautions to keep you, your family, and your property safe.
1. Space Considerations
If you don’t already have a fire pit in your backyard, space considerations will be number one. Make sure you not only have adequate space for a fire, but ensure that you are free and clear from your home, flammable plants or trees, and have adequate ventilation for the smoke. If you’re in doubt, consult your local city codes, fire marshall, or local fire department for guidance.
2. Backyard Fire Pit Size
Size matters when it comes to a backyard fire pit. If you’re purchasing a fire pit, make sure it suits your size and space considerations and won’t be anything too big or too uncontrollable for you. On the other hand, if you’re building a fire pit, size it appropriately for your backyard, your anticipated guests, and make sure you can always handle the fire you put in it. When in doubt, stay small as you can likely expand fairly easily.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy
When it comes to having either a backyard fire or a fire in your fireplace in your house, it’s important to always keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it. Fire extinguishers can save your home in the unimaginable event that fire gets out of control and may even save lives.
Bear in mind that the lifespan of a fire extinguisher is finite, and may need to either be inspected or replaced every few years. Also, it may be worth talking to your home insurance provider to see how many fire extinguishers you need in your home and if they give you a discount on your premium.
4. Watch What You Burn
Only burn materials suitable and legal. In other words, only burn wood if you’re in doubt of what to burn. Never burn trash, flammable materials such as aerosol cans, gasoline, diesel, or other flammable fuels or toxic materials.
While it may be tempting to rid yourself of old scrap wood, newspapers, and sensitive documents, it’s better to steer clear of burning these items as they may release toxic smoke into the air potentially damaging the environment or your lungs!
5. Keep Pets and Children Away from Fires
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it can’t be expressed enough. Keep your pets and children away from your backyard fire pit an all costs. Fire pits, depending on their elevation in your backyard, can be easy places for animals or children to wander into. Even if the fire has mostly burned out or is extinguished entirely, fire pits can still prevent a hazard.
6. Extinguish Your Fire at the End of the Night
It’s tempting to simply let your fire burn down or burn out when it’s time to go to bed, but take the time to extinguish your fire completely and entirely before you retire for the evening.
Remember, fire needs three things to burn: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Eliminate any of those three and the fire will be extinguished. It’s best to use water and/or sand to reduce and ultimately eliminate your fire’s oxygen to extinguish the fire. If in doubt, consult your local fire department for further guidance.