Fire Pit Safety
As the temperatures drop, many are looking for ways to safely gather outdoors. A fire pit can be a fun way to stay warm and make memories with friends and families. If a fire pit is the focal point of your next outdoor evening, it is important to make safety around your fire pit top priority.
Before purchasing or building a fire pit, learn your local ordinances regarding fire pits. Some municipalities have restrictions on when or if people may have open fires.
Contact your insurance professional to see if disclosing a fire pit is a requirement on your homeowners insurance policy. Check what impact it may have on your policy and if you need to increase coverage limits.
Once you have the go ahead, place the fire pit in the right location. Choose a flat spot at least 10 feet from the house or any other structure. Make sure there is enough space for everyone to move safely around the fire pit without any tripping hazards. Keep the area well-lit to avoid accidents. Set a boundary around the fire and do not let anyone move closer to the fire.
Carefully review manufacturer instructions before using the fire pit. Check wind conditions before starting the fire. Strong winds could easily blow embers creating a fire hazard.
Take extra precautions starting your fire. Never use gasoline or kerosene. Choose a commercial fire starter stick and use dry wood as kindling instead of paper, trash, plastic, construction materials, or treated lumber. Make sure kindling does not extend past the edge of the pit. Consider using a screen to help keep the fire contained.
Never leave the fire unattended and keep a close eye on children or pets. Invest in a fire blanket in case of an emergency. Remind children of fire safety rules before going near a fire pit.
Keep extinguishing devices nearby, such as a garden hose, bucket of sand or water, or a chemical extinguisher. Always extinguish the fire before going inside or leaving the area. Stir ashes until they are cool and dispose them in a fireproof, metal container.
Please immediately call 911 if the fire gets out of control.