Fire pits create a comfortable outdoor place to bring people together. However, a good time can turn into an emergency when you don’t practice fire pit safety. Make sure your family and guests are familiar with a few simple tips to keep them safe around the fire.

How to Use Your Fire Pit Safely

To have a safe backyard fire, check the weather forecast, keep fire safety equipment handy, and pay attention to the location and materials you’re using to create your fire.

Watch Out for Wind

The wind is the first thing to consider when lighting your outdoor fire pit. Strong winds pick up embers that may start fires outside of the fire pit. To reduce the risk of accidents, check the wind conditions before using your fire pit and don’t use it on windy days.

If you have a moveable fire pit, be sure to position it at least 10 feet away from nearby structures, flammable items, bushes, and overhanging tree branches.

Keep Your Distance

Keeping a safe distance from fire is common sense, but if you need to get closer to the flames to keep it going, be careful and roll up your sleeves. Stand back, keep chairs away from the fire, and properly bind loose clothing and hair.

Use the Right Type of Wood

Don’t use softwoods like pine and cedar, or pressure-treated lumber. Lumber that’s chemically treated will produce toxic fumes if burned. There are a variety of safe woods that can be purchased or cut on your own.

Hardwoods tend to produce fewer sparks and burn well, making them great for outdoor use. It’s best if they’re seasoned for 6 months to a year before burning.

Pay Attention

A lit fire pit should never be left unattended, even if it has died down to smoldering embers. If you must step away, delegate your fire-watching responsibility to someone else even if you’ll only be gone for a couple of minutes.

Properly douse the remaining flames and logs with plenty of water before going inside. Another important fire pit safety tip to remember is not to use flammable liquids to ignite or rekindle flames.

Basic Fire Safety

“Stop, drop, and roll”  is the best rule to remember should an accident occur. It’s a simple lifesaving technique that is easily taught to children. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby or a bucket of sand in case the fire gets out of control.

Following these simple fire pit safety tips will help your family and guests enjoy safe gatherings around the fire.

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