7 Steps of Fire Pit Safety

7 Steps of Fire Pit Safety

According to the National Park Service, nearly 85 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans, in many cases resulting from campfires left unattended with loose embers and burning debris. Knowing how to stay safe and what precautions to take while having a fire are essential to keeping everyone safe and having a good time.

  1. Check weather – Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees. By checking the weather forecast ahead of time you can predict if the conditions will be right for a fire or not.
  2. Assess area – Before lighting the fire, check the area around you to make sure there are no debris or objects that could potentially catch on fire. This means there are no combustible materials or even loose leaves and debris around the pit to ensure fire doesn’t spread.
  3. Check distance – The fire should also be set 10 to 20 feet away from objects, buildings and guests.
  4. Have a bucket of water nearby – Keep five gallons of water near you at all times in case of a fire that needs to be put out immediately.
  5. Use the right wood – Use wood that has been properly seasoned, meaning, not wood that has been just cut from trees. Store-bought wood from your local hardware store is a safer bet because it is made specifically for fire pit usage. The length of the logs should be less than ¾ the diameter of the pit.
  6. Screen – By purchasing a screen that can be placed around the fire, you can shield any flames from spreading, and create a barrier so people know what a safe distance should be from the pit.
  7. Dousing – Pour water from your bucket up and down the length of the fire, then side to side. Hold the water several feet over the fire to avoid getting burned by the steam and thoroughly cover all the wood and embers until the fire stops smoking.

The growing popularity of fire pits

The idea of having a fire in your own backyard is a popular and growing trend that has attracted many homeowners. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, “blending outdoor and indoor living continues to be one of the country’s most predominant home trends.” Surveys also reveal that 67% of homeowners said they like having an outdoor fire to keep parties going when nights get cold. 

Read the original blog from our partner, Hanover Insurance Group.