A fire pit is a fun way to get the family together for some fresh air and quality time. A pit lets you hang out late into the evening and stay toasty warm around a fire as you tell creepy ghost stories to the kids, roast hotdogs and marshmallows, and share fond memories. But as you remember the good times, also remember these fire pit safety tips.
Distancing the Fire Pit
Never place a fire pit closer than 10 feet from anything that’s flammable. This includes your home, shrubs, tree branches overhead, and the like. Also, don’t put your fire pit on grass, a wood deck, or inside of an enclosed porch—unless the owner’s manual gives you the OK.
Fueling the Fire Pit
Always burn dry, seasoned wood that was cut at least six months prior. Make sure your logs are no longer than three-quarters of the diameter of the pit. If you have a gas pit be certain that all of its vents are clear, and only use fuel that your pit is built to burn.
Lighting the Flame
Never use lighter fluid, kerosene, or gas to light a fire.
Extinguishing Flaring Flames
You may be able to extinguish flaring flames in your pit simply by using a garden hose with the nozzle set to spray.
Before you douse your pit with water know ahead of time whether or not it can withstand it, since water can crack ceramic fire pits, as well as some made of metal. If your pit can’t get wet always keep a bucket of dry sand handy, should you need to dump it on the flames. If your pit is gas or propane turn off the supply before you try to extinguish the fire.
If you use a fire extinguisher it should be a dry-chemical extinguisher with a Class B and C or multi-purpose rating. Follow the PASS procedure: Pull the pin; Aim at the base of the fire; Squeeze the trigger (slowly); Sweep the nozzle from side to side. The majority of portable extinguishers can reach from 6 to 10 feet and last from 8 to 10 seconds.
If a fire spreads beyond the pit, flares up above your head, or prevents you from turning off the supply, evacuate the area and call your local fire department.
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