Crisp, cool, starry nights on the patio are perfect when accompanied by a warm, cozy fire, and your favorite people.
Today, fire pits, outdoor ovens, and chimineas are an integral part of a home and beautiful outdoor living spaces. Before you set up your first fire this spring, be sure to review these safety tips.
First, pay close attention to the location of your fire pit or feature. Fires should always be clear from trees and branches that may hang over or near the fire. The fire should also have a 3-foot to 5-foot clearance all around the sides, with a solid non-flammable surface beneath it. In other words, a solid concrete patio, river rocks, or a bed of rock pebble will reduce opportunities of the fire spreading onto grass or other flammable objects. Never place a fire pit on a deck or deck materials such as wood or composite decking. Also, consider the wind direction and position the fire pit opposite of the wind’s direction with relationship to your house and avoid the wind blowing tiny embers toward your home. If it is windy, it is not a good day to have a fire. Within the city of Columbus, a 10-foot clearance is required from any combustible structure. View the full list of requirements HERE.
Secondly, never use lighter fluid or fire accelerators to start a fire. These can quickly get out of hand and have been known to cause severe burns to the person starting the fire or others nearby. Use fire stick or log starters to get your fire started quickly and safely.
Next, be cognizant of seating and walkways near or around fire pit. Using fixed seating is the best method to reduce the risk of falling into the fire. If that is not possible, choose chairs that are lower to the ground and place away from the fire’s edge. Do not allow anything to be place around or near the fire pit that may be a tripping hazard, such as a toasting skewers, beverages, extra wood, etc.
Be sure to have a fire extinguisher, garden hose (with shower nozzle), or sand available to put out the fire. Remember if you have a gas unit, the gas must be turned off before attempting to extinguish the fire. Also, remember extinguishers do have an expiration date, so you will want to check that as well. And never leave a fire unattended, always completely extinguish the fire prior to walking away or going in the house for the evening.
Finally, it is important to know that ashes can remain hot for several days! So, only dispose of ashes in a metal container. Do not use paper bags or cardboard boxes to dispose of the ashes unless the bag or box will then be placed in a metal container outside of the home and garage to avoid accidental fire.
We hope you have found these safety tips useful and wish happy toasting and roasting this firepit season!