Relax by the Fire but not on Safety

Now that the snow has melted, but it’s not quite time to jump in the pool,
grab your marshmallows and hit the fire pit!  Of course your outdoor fire can do way more than make s’mores.

It provides warmth, ambience and sets the scene for a delightful evening.  Whether you have a fire pit, outdoor fireplace or chiminea, nothing is better than enjoying a fire on a cool spring evening.

Just remember to be safe while you’re having fun.  Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’rChild by Fire Pite relaxing by the fire.  These tips are not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Keep your fire at least 10 to 20 feet away from any structure, like your log cabin, or combustible surface.
  • Clear all flammable materials (dry logs, debris, needles, leaves, etc.) away before starting the fire.
  • Don’t place fire pits on wooden decks. Position on non-flammable surfaces.
  • Cool Fire PitDon’t build a fire under a building overhang or trees.
  • Avoid windy conditions that can blow embers.
  • Always supervise children and pets in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Use dry and seasoned wood. Wet or green wood makes more smoke. Softwoods like pine and birch make more crackles and sparks (potentially dangerous) than hardwoods like oak or hickory.  Don’t burn pressure-treated wood which may contains toxins.
  • Never use lighter fluid, gasoline or other accelerants.
  • Position chairs so people can rise and move about without tumbling into the fire.
  • Keep your fire manageable. There’s no need for a blazing bonfire.  The bigger the fire, the greater the risk for danger.
  • Keep a garden hose, bucket of water or sand nearby in case your fire gets out of hand. A shower-type spray douses a flare up, while a direct stream of water can spread sparks.  Having the appropriately rated fire extinguisher is an additional safety precaution.
  • Perish the thought, but if a spark ignites clothing remember to Stop, Drop and Roll!
  • Always have a shovel nearby to extinguish any escaped flames and to put out the fire itself.
  • Review manufacturer’s instructions on proper extinguishing.
  • Be sure to completely extinguish your fire before retiring for the night. Smokey the Bear says, “If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.”
  • Dispose of the ashes in a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag, cardboard box or anything that is combustible.  Ashes can still be hot enough to cause a fire even after 2 or 3 days.

Be safe while you chill out by the fire this season!