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Hanging out with family and friends around a fire is a relaxing way to spend an evening. To prevent accidents, it’s important to practice fire pit safety while enjoying the flames. Below are a few tips to stay safe while around the fire.

1. Distance from Buildings

When it comes to safety, install the fire pit at least 15 feet from your house and other structures, including outbuildings. Make sure flammable objects like patio furniture are also a safe distance from the flames. Don’t build a fire beneath an awning, low-hanging branches, or a patio umbrella. And never use a fire pit in a gazebo or on a covered porch.

2. Smart Fuel Choices are Important for Fire Pit Safety

When starting or keeping your fire going, be careful with the fuel you use. Gasoline and lighter fluid are dangerous and shouldn’t be used as a shortcut to starting a fire. Instead, use kindling and dry hardwood such as oak, maple, or ash. Softwoods like pine are not a great option because the wood can pop and spread sparks.

3. Enjoying the Fire

Keep chairs at least 5 feet from the fire to stay safe. While you may be tempted to move closer to the flames for warmth, especially on a cold night, it’s more important to be safe and avoid burns.

Make sure there is an adult to watch children and pets around the fire to keep them at a safe distance from the flames. If you are a parent, teach your children basic fire pit safety. They should learn to stay far back from the fire and teach them not to play near the woodpile or close to the flames.

4. Clothing for Fire Pit Safety

When tending the fire, roll up your sleeves and tie your hair back. This will help to keep you safe from sparks catching on your hair or clothing.

Avoid loose-fitting clothing and synthetic fibers. If you are wearing nylon or polyester and a spark lands on your clothes, it could melt the fabric and burn you in the process. Tightly woven natural fibers are best for tending a fire.

A backyard fire is a lot of fun and it’s possible to have a good time while also staying safe. Next time you plan to have a fire, remember to practice basic safety measures. If you follow this advice, you’re sure to have an enjoyable evening.

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