Whether you’re at your favorite camping spot or in the comfort of your own back yard, owning a fire pit can give you perfect marshmallows all summer long. But you don’t want to be “that guy” in the neighborhood who burns his favorite tree down! When we have droughts like we did in 2016, it's even more important to be careful. Follow these helpful tips this summer to practice fire safety.
Light ‘Em Up
Who doesn’t love sitting around a fire, roasting marshmallows and sharing stories? Fire pits are a great addition to the back yard on a cool summer night, but they can also be dangerous. 5,000 Americans are injured by back yard fires every year.
Doesn’t matter when I build it, right?
Wrong! Watch out for wind, dry weather, and other perilous conditions. And keep your head up! Are there low tree branches above you? This is a big “no-no”—the last thing you need is for the sparks to catch on nearby trees.
Are your kids addicted to S’mores?
Let’s be honest, who isn’t? But you don’t want them getting too close. A good rule is to establish at least a three-foot “kid-free zone” around grills and fire pits. Teach your kids and their friends to follow this rule… unless you want “s’more” accidents!
Burn, Baby, Burn!
But not just any wood! Avoid soft woods like pine or cedar, which can snap, crackle, and pop. Never burn treated wood like the kind used for fencing or decks – they can leave toxic metals in the ashes and are illegal everywhere.
Now how do I put it out?
Go ahead and hose down the fire until it is completely soaked, then hose it down some more. Let it sit overnight—while you sleep comfortably knowing your backyard is fire-safe—and dispose of the ashes in the morning in a metal container. You’ve had a great evening, but don’t forget to end it safely!
It's also a good idea to check with your local city for rules and regulations in your area.