You’re already imagining spending nights gathered around your new outdoor fire pit. To keep everyone safe, our pros offer some important safety tips. Outdoor fire pits are unique and you should always follow manufacturer’s instructions. If Complete Home Concepts installs your fire pit, our pros will review instructions specific to your type of fire pit.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Buy a fire extinguisher for your outdoor fire pit and keep it nearby the fire feature. Choose one with a Class A rating and read the instructions so you know how to use it if necessary.
Use the Fuel Intended for Your Outdoor Fire Pit
Use the type of fuel your fire pit is designed to burn. If your fire pit is gas fueled, use the right type for your fire pit. If your fire pit is wood burning, use dry, seasoned sticks or wood. Never use one intended for another. And, never burn wood household items that could be painted, stained or chemically treated.
Never Leave Kids Unattended Near an Outdoor Fire Pit
Never. Period. They’re drawn to flames like moths.
Arrange Seating at a Safe Distance
It’s tempting to place patio furniture near the fire pit, especially on chilly nights. Arrange seating at a safe distance from the flames so that sparks don’t land on guests or your patio furniture.
Use Roasting Tools Designed for the Outdoors
Roasting marshmallows or hot dogs is one thing kids of all ages (parents, too) look forward to with an outdoor fire pit. Invest in outdoor grilling tools that are meant for use over an open flame. Outdoor grilling tools are safer thanks to longer handles, metal prongs and wood handles that don’t get hot and burn hands. This keeps your kids’ and guests’ hands safely away from the fire while roasting.
Fully Extinguish Flames
Never leave your outdoor fire pit unattended for the night without fully extinguishing the fire. Even a fire that is near dying out should never be left burn itself out. It’s an unnecessary risk that could result in calling 911. Dousing a wood-burning outdoor fire pit isn’t enough. Generally, here’s how to safely extinguish your fire pit:
- Time the end of the night and avoid adding wood early enough so that the majority burns out
- Spread ashes out so they cool off quicker
- Pour a little water over the ashes to douse hidden hot spots/embers
- Continue adding water until there’s no steam
Gas fire pits simply need to be turned off. Check the surrounding area for anything that might combust or blow into the fire pit and catch fire.
Your professional fire pit installer will review the procedures for extinguishing flames for your particular brand and style of fire pit.
A Clean Outdoor Fire Pit is a Safe One
Even a new outdoor fire pit will eventually require cleaning if it’s to be safe and function properly. Follow these cleaning steps for wood-burning pits:
- Clean your fire pit only after the ashes are completely cool.
- Remove unburned or half burned wood (you can keep these for your next burn)
- Sweep ashes together with a sturdy broom or brush for easy scooping and dumping
- Dump ashes into a metal ash can or similar container for disposal (keep the container far away from your home)
- Check that ashes or debris isn’t clogging vents or drains
- Fire pit cleaning accessories (grills, spark screens, etc.) as you would a BBQ with wire brush and soapy water when needed
Gas outdoor fire pits don’t require cleaning like wood burning ones; however, check the burner for obstructions (leaves, nests) and remove any debris leftovers from roasted foods.
Final Thoughts on Outdoor Fire Pit Safety
An outdoor fire pit is a sought-after feature in backyard landscapes, especially in Kansas City where they can make outdoor entertaining possible in fall and winter. For homeowners, you really can’t go wrong by installing an outdoor fire pit. Not only will you benefit from enjoying it, but also it adds value for potential buyers and distinguishes your home’s backyard entertaining area from others on the market. Enjoying your outdoor fire pit to the fullest is easy when you have it installed by professionals and follow safety tips designed to keep your family and friends safe, as well as your fire pit functioning as intended.