A backyard fire pit is appealing to many homeowners. Whether it’s to stay warm on crisp autumn nights or toast s’mores by a summer campfire, fire pits provide a cozy place to relax and gather with family and friends. But before you get too comfortable, be prepared for safety. Here are a few essential tips for fire pit safety to keep your family and home safe.

Summertime Safety: Build the Fire Pit Correctly

When creating a fire pit, choose materials designed for high heat and avoid using cinder blocks or river rock, which can explode with exposure to extreme temperatures. Choose a spot at least 15 feet away from structures, shrubs, and combustible materials. Verify the area surrounding the fire pit is free of debris and flammable objects. Make sure your fire pit has good ventilation so that smoke can escape.

Maintain Clearance Above Your Fire Pit

When building a fire pit, make sure there’s clearance above it so sparks don’t float up into the trees and ignite the foliage. Check local laws, municipal guidelines, and HOA restrictions to learn about requirements in your area. In many towns, a minimum of 20 feet of overhead clearance is recommended.

Never Leave Your Fire Unattended

It might seem obvious, but never leave a fire unattended! Always have a responsible adult present to watch the fire pit and ensure it’s completely out before you go inside for the night. Don’t allow children or pets near the fire without supervision.

Fire Pit Safety: Keep an Extinguisher On Site

Have at least one fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. Choose a multi-purpose extinguisher labeled for Class A, B, and C fires. Read the instructions on using the extinguisher before building a fire.

Keep Your Fire at a Reasonable Size

Limit the size of your fire so it doesn’t become too big. A small, controlled fire is easier to monitor and extinguish if necessary. Monitor the size of your fire throughout the night and add fuel as needed to keep it under control.

Do Not Burn Trash

Never burn garbage in your fire pit. This includes plastic, treated wood, and painted items which can release toxic fumes when burned. Do not attempt to start a fire with combustible liquids such as gasoline or lighter fluid. It’s easy for accelerants, especially gasoline, to explode, so keep them away from open flames.

Fire pits are a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Following these tips will help you stay safe while enjoying a fire so you can relax and unwind in the evenings.

Carolina HomePro Inspections provides inspections to customers in Charlotte, NC, and the Rock Hill area of South Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment for our services.