Keep the Fire (Pit) Burning, but Keep It Safe

Posted by Safeco July 21, 2014
Ensure the area under and around your fire pit is clear of flammable materials.

Sitting around a backyard fire pit is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a nice summer evening.

Without the proper precautions, however, it can also be quite dangerous.

So before you get out the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows for National S’mores Day on August 10, check out these guidelines to make sure you won’t get burned by an unsafe fire.

Decide what style is best for your yard.
You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to fire pits — from ready-made metal bowls to the classic, do-it-yourself pit ringed with rocks. And they don’t even have to burn wood. Gas models can be more convenient and may actually reduce the risk of a fire blazing out of control.

Make sure you follow the law.
As the popularity of fire pits has grown, some municipalities are creating new regulations around their use. And general burn bans are often in effect to protect air quality. Check with your city or county to determine whether you can use a fire pit, along with the rules you need to follow.

Take a look around.
Make sure there aren’t any flammable materials near your fire pit or flammable surfaces, such as a wooden deck, under it. Your pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structure. Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby in case of emergency; you can also use a bucket of sand to put out your fire. Finally, check the wind direction before you start a fire, and make sure kids and pets remain at a safe distance.

Build a safe fire.
Only use seasoned hardwood if possible, as softer woods, such as cedar, can spark and pop. Never burn garbage, leaves or paper, and don’t use fluids — even lighter fluid — to start or restart your fire. If you have a metal fire pit, use the included screen, and don’t overload it.

Make sure it’s out.
Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. Spread the ashes out and let them cool. Pour some water (or your sand) over them — but don’t leave just yet. Always give it a little extra time to ensure the fire is totally out and won’t flare up. Besides, it’s still a nice night out, right?

Memories are often made while sitting around a fire. With a little common-sense preparation, you’re sure to keep those memories great.

Topics: Safety Tips

Tell us what you think

Let the world know what you think, but do so responsibly. Comments are moderated and we will not post personal attacks, obscene language or inappropriate material, comments with links, or comments from people under the age of 18. If you have a question, check out our Comment Submission Guidelines.

By posting your comment, you agree to our site's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

© 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.