Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years—they’re the #1 requested backyard design feature according to the American Society of Landscape Architects—and the trend shows no signs of losing steam.  The warmth and joy that radiates from the open fire can make parties, intimate gatherings, and simple marshmallow roasts the most sought-after and enjoyable activities of the spring, summer, and autumn months.  However, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are wrought with dangers, and to ensure everyone’s safety, there are important safety tips every homeowner with them should know.

Outdoor Fire Safety Basics

Take these simple steps to heart and enjoy your fire pit without worry.

Take these simple steps to heart and enjoy your fire pit without worry.

As with any situation involving fire, there are many safety measures homeowners can take to ensure that you and yours remain safe.  The following safety protocols are a good jumping off point:

  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Keep a first aid kit on hand for any accidental burns.
  • Don’t light a fire in windy conditions.  One stray spark can cause a large fire in no time.
  • Don’t light a fire if a fire warning has been issued in your area.
  • Don’t allow children to light or play near the fire.  Closely supervise children at all times around your fire pit.
  • Always use seasoned wood and kindling to light your fire.  Avoid using soft woods (e.g., pine or cedar) because they can pop and throw sparks.  Do NOT use accelerants (e.g., gasoline, lighter fluid, or alcohol) or trash to light a fire.
  • Put out the fire completely before leaving the area unattended or before going inside for the evening.  Even the smallest fire can become a large fire quickly; as such, embers should be completely extinguished.
  • Safely dispose of all ashes.

Outdoor Fire Positioning

You should set up your fire pit or outdoor fireplace in an area that is well away (at least 10 feet) from adjacent walls or building overhangs if at all possible.  You’ll also want to make sure the area is free of combustible materials and on a noncombustible surface.  Move all outdoor furniture at least 3 feet away from open flames as well.  Keep an eye out for low-hanging branches and drooping power lines overhead, and place the unit well clear of them.

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular, and outdoor fire safety must be kept in mind when using one.  The tips listed in this blog will help you get the most out of your enjoyable outdoor addition and reduce the likelihood of injury and/or damage to your property.  The professionals at Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County are ever ready to meet and exceed your expectations.  Give us a call to see how we can assist you with all of your fire safety needs.