Fire Pit Safety | Shelter Insurance®

3 Tips to Ensure Your Fire Pit is Safe

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A fire pit is great because it can satisfy cravings for campfire food in your own backyard. Toasted marshmallows, potato packets, cheese fondue…you name it! And not only does having a fire pit provide some flavorful fun for the whole family, it also has a visual appeal that benefits backyard landscape design.

But it's only fun and games until your whole yard is on fire. Although they can be very enjoyable, there are also a lot of terrible things that could happen when a fire pit is in use if you aren't careful. Keep these tips in mind to keep a good time from getting extinguished:

  1. The Placement: Whether it is a portable or a built-in fire pit, make sure that it's surrounded by an uninflammable surface such as concrete, gravel, brick or stone. It's a bad idea to place a fire pit on a wooden deck or directly on grass because it could only take one gust of wind to send those sparks flying and causing a fire. Also check the area above the fire pit for any tree branches, and avoid using it under covered porches.
  2. The Fire: Make sure to use good fuel to light your fire pit. Correct fuel is the best fuel. Make sure to read instructions from the manufacturer carefully. Extinguishing the fire is just as important as starting the fire. Let the fire die down, and then cool the ashes in the pit by spreading them around. Pour water over everything to be sure that no embers are left. When the fire isn't being used to cook food, use a screen to keep the sparks contained. Don't ever leave your fire unattended.
  3. Just in Case: Keep materials like sand or dirt in a bucket with a shovel near the pit to cool coals when needed. In case of a real emergency, a Class A fire extinguisher would be good to have nearby. If you don't have one, purchasing one would be a smart thing to do.

You may not realize it, but each city or municipality has ordinances or restrictions that govern fire pits. Check those before installing a fire pit to make sure you're following those regulations. In addition, always keep up your fire pit clean and well-maintained, and review basic fire safety tips with your family.

Now that you know how to enjoy that fire pit safely, go make yourself some fire pit s'mores!