It’s a beautiful evening, the sun is starting to wind down, and you think to yourself that it would be a perfect night for a roaring fire in the outdoor fire pit. However, you’re worried if your flame is going to be completely safe.
A backyard fire pit is a great way to sit back, relax, and stay warm at night, but they can also be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. That is why you must know your outdoor fire pit safety.
Playing with fire is no joke, and that is precisely what you are doing when you use a fire pit. Not only can the sparks and flames cause severe property damage, but it can also lead to severe burns on your body.
Backyard fire pit safety is a must. It will keep you, your friends, and your valuables safe, while also giving you peace of mind.
That is why in this article we are going to go over the backyard fire pit safety tips you need to know for your next fire.
Whether you are planning on building a fire pit in your outdoor space or you already have a wood-burning fire pit, following these must-know tips will keep you and your guests safe, happy, healthy, and ease your worries.
Let’s start by going over how to safely and adequately prepare your fire.
14 Must-Know Outdoor Fire Pit Safety Tips
Fire Pit Preparation
Ensure that you place your fire pit on an even surface. An even surface will reduce the risk of fire escaping and spilling over onto the ground.
Place your fire pit, so it is at least 10 feet away from any flammable structures—these structures include your house, garages, trees, fences, and more.
Remember to think vertically in terms of spacing as well. There should be nothing above your fire pit, like a tree branch or covered patio.
Never put your fire pit directly on a flammable surface, like grass or a wood deck. If you don’t have a non-flammable surface to place your fire pit, elevate your fire pit, so it is safe from burning the ground.
Also, if you want to place your fire pit on a deck, make sure to read our article on the do’s and don’t of fire pits on wood decks.
Now that we have a good understanding of positioning your fire pit for safety, let’s dive into how to start it properly.
Starting Your Fire Pit
Check the wind direction and confirm it is not too windy to have a fire. Embers and flames carry farther when it is windy and can spread to your home, trees, and yourself.
If you want to learn more about having a fire in the wind, check out Upgrade Camping’s article on when it is too windy for a campfire.
Never use anything like gasoline, lighter fluid, or kerosene to start your fire. These dangerous fuels can cause the fire to get out of control fast.
Instead, use a proper fire starter like matches or a kitchen lighter to light your tinder and kindling. Also, check out our comprehensive blog on how to start the perfect fire in a fire pit, so you don’t ever have to rely on lighter fluid again.
Your fire pit is prepared correctly, and you know how to safely start it. Now it’s time to look at the backyard fire pit safety tips of maintaining the flame.
Maintaining the Flame
The fire in your fire pit should never be left unattended. No matter how small, flames can spread in a blink of an eye. Also, never leave children or pets unattended when they are close to a fire.
Consider investing in a spark screen to help maintain the flame.
These mesh screens will prevent flying embers from hitting you or starting a fire in the yard. They also can prevent children or pets from falling directly into the burning fire.
Avoid throwing any paper, garbage, or flammable products into the fire. These products can throw off the burning embers and cause burning remnants to travel astray.
Plus, certain products can produce toxic chemicals that are unhealthy to breathe in. Check out Family Handyman’s article on things you should never burn in your backyard fire pit to learn about the dangers of throwing certain household products into the fire.
Don't wear flammable or loose-fitting clothing if you go near the fire pit
Even if you are perfectly safe, accidents can still happen at any time. Make sure to have a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case the flame becomes uncontrollable. If that doesn’t work and the fire is spreading, quickly call 9-1-1.
Finally, let’s take a look at how to safely put out a fire pit after a relaxing night by the fire.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit
Grab a hose or water bucket and gently sprinkle water in the fire. Make sure you don’t dump or pour the water, which can damage your fire pit.
Sprinkle water, and when the fire has turned to embers, grab a shovel and mix the ash and embers around until you no longer hear any hissing.
Gently touch the ash, and if it is cold, then correctly dispose of the ash.
To learn more about the different ways to safety put out a fire pit, check out our in-depth guide of putting out a fire in a fire pit.
Enjoy Your Backyard Fire Pit Safely
Fire pits are a great way to unwind, spend time with friends, and create cozy memories.
Following these must-know safety tips will ease your worries while preventing unwanted damage to you or your property.
Remember to prepare your fire pit properly, avoid using lighter fluid to start it, always keep a close eye on it once it’s lit, and take the proper steps to put out the flame safely.