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Backyard Fire Pit Safety

Any time you’re dealing with an open flame you should always be responsible and take the necessary precautions to avoid any accidents. An open fire is a beautiful, warming accent to any yard or garden setting. It is inviting and invigorating as a central point of congregation and socialization. Make sure it is also safe so that you are free to enjoy it without the worry of an unforeseen accident.

Wood burning fire pits give the most authentic outdoor fire experience. The smell of the smoke, the crackling of the logs and the glowing embers combine to create an atmosphere that is magical, one that makes you feel like you’re deep in the woods though you’re only in your backyard. But, a wood burning fire also requires the most attention. Be sure to clear away brush and dead or dry vegetation in a 10’-20’ circle around your fire pit and don’t place your fire pit under a covered porch or under any low hanging trees where errant sparks and heat might ignite dry foliage and branches. ALWAYS use a spark screen so that sparks cannot escape the fire (especially with wet or sappy wood). Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose with a spray nozzle nearby so that if anything does escape the fire area you can extinguish it quickly and effectively. Finally, be sure to protect yourself. Use a poker or log grabber to move and arrange logs and never try to move a portable fire pit if it's hot. Another way to protect yourself and your investments is to not use lighter fluids to start your fires. They can be unpredictable and dangerous; instead, use kindling and build your fire up slowly so that it is always under control and manageable.

Liquid Propane (LP) and natural gas (NG) fire pits require less attention and tending and are more convenient and easy to light, but that doesn’t mean that you should be any less diligent and cautious. Every time you intend to use your LP or NG fire pit you should check all the hoses, valves and attachment to make sure there are no leaks or holes before you introduce any kind of flame or spark for ignition. If your fire pit runs on a pilot-light be sure to check it from time to time to make sure it hasn’t been blown out and that combustible gases aren’t filling your fire area. Always know how and where to shut of your LP or NG supply in case of an emergency.

Backyard fire pits are lovely additions to any outdoor décor. With a little care and forethought they can be safe, almost worry free additions that will bring you warmth and joy for years to come. Protect yourself, your family and your home by using safe fire tending practices and a little common sense.