Fire Pit Safety Tips
One of the many wonderful things about living in southern Arizona is the warm climate that allows you to hang out in the backyard throughout the year. And there’s nothing quite like the crackle and glow of a fire pit to add ambiance and make being outdoors even more enjoyable.
Of course, any use of fire around the home introduces an element of danger — it only takes one small act of carelessness to turn a fun, relaxing evening into a disaster. The following tips can ensure the safe operation of your backyard fire pit:
- Check local ordinances: Municipalities have specific rules and regulations regarding the placement and use of fire pits. Check with your local government office or fire department before using your pit for the first time.
- Placement: Place your pit on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet away from your home, outbuildings, trees, fences or neighbor’s yard. Always check the wind direction before lighting a fire — you may have to relocate the pit if the wind will blow the flames toward a structure.
- Avoid using soft woods: Softer woods such as cedar or pine tend to “throw” sparks when burning, which could reach people, pets or flammable objects that are near the fire. It is safer to use these to supplement hardwoods such as oak or maple.
- Don’t add flammable fuels: You might be tempted to add gasoline or lighter fluid to ignite or intensify the fire. However, these fuel sources can cause the blaze to get out of control quickly. Use dry wood or kindling to keep the fire going and avoid placing it beyond the edge of the pit.
- Dress appropriately: Avoid wearing clothing made of flammable materials such as nylon, or loose-fitting items that could ignite if you get too close to the flames.
- Monitor alcohol consumption: Fire pits are great for outdoor nighttime parties. However, excessive alcohol use can lead to reckless behavior around the fire — which could have devastating consequences. As a responsible host, keep an eye on your guests who have been drinking to make sure they stay away from the fire.
- Watch kids and pets closely: The warm glow of a fire will attract young children and household pets. Make sure kids and animals stay at least three feet away from the fire, and don’t allow small children to do things like roasting marshmallows or hot dogs without adult supervision.
- Extinguish the fire safely: When the time comes to put the fire out, use water to extinguish it. Stir and spread the wet ashes to facilitate cooling, and don’t leave the pit for the night until the ashes feel cool to the touch.
Contact Titan Alarm to Learn More About Home Fire Prevention
Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide your Phoenix- or Tucson-area home with an advanced fire prevention and detection system that will help keep your property safe throughout the year. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a free on-site fire safety consultation today.
Learn More About Fire Extinguishers
Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.