Firepits Should Be a Safe Sanctuary
Spring evenings are my favorite time to utilize the fire pit in the back yard. The night air is still a little crisp, and the bugs are not in full terrorize mode. Lighting the fire, pouring a drink, and putting on some ‘90s rock music are the keys to my paradise. And I hope that you enjoy relaxing by your fire pit as much as I do. Oh, you don’t have a fire pit, but I bet you want one now.
If I have managed to spark any interest in setting up a fire pit, be sure to check out the following safety “Do’s and Don’ts” from Nationwide Insurance.
DO: Build your fire pit on a level surface
Make sure the ground or surface is even to reduce the risk of fire escaping beyond your fire pit. The level ground also reduces the risk of someone stumbling or items rolling into the fire.
DO: Keep the fire at a safe distance
To keep your fire from causing damage, build the fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees and the like. Portable fire pits are great but do not be tempted to relocate it inside a garage or covered porch if it happens to rain.
DON’T: Use gasoline or lighter fluid
Never use gasoline or kerosene to start your fire; such fuels can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Instead, use dry wood as kindling that doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the pit.
DO: Monitor guests around fire pits
Make sure guests maintain a proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.
DON’T: Build a fire pit with river stones
Smooth stones from river beds may have absorbed moisture over time and can heat rapidly and explode. Instead of river stones, build your fire pit with dry, rough rocks.
DO: Check the weather report
Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees.
DON’T: Leave a fire unattended
Even if your fire pit is small, flames can spread quickly if left unattended. Monitor at all times.
DO: Put your fire out safely
Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.
DO: Have an emergency plan
Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand close to douse the fire in case it gets out of hand. If you can’t put it out quickly, call 9-1-1.
Following these best practices will help you to keep your sanctuary a safe and relaxing place. Now if you would excuse me, I am off to cut some firewood and purchase a few bags of sand.