Fire Pit Safety Tips

women sitting near an outdoor fire pit

Building a fire pit can be as simple as circling stones in your backyard or as complex as a professionally built unit on your patio. Whichever way you choose to go, be sure to keep these fire pit safety tips in mind.

Preparing your outdoor fire pit

  • Make sure the ground or surface is even to reduce the risk of fire escaping beyond your fire pit.
  • To keep your fire from causing damage, build the fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees and the like.
  • Smooth stones from river beds may have absorbed moisture over time and can heat rapidly and explode. Instead of river stones, build your fire pit with dry, rough stones.

Using your outdoor fire pit

  • Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to start your fire; such fuels can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Instead, use dry wood as kindling that doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the pit.
  • Even if your fire pit is small, flames can spread quickly if left unattended. Monitor at all times.
  • Make sure guests maintain a proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.

Extinguishing your outdoor fire pit

  • Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand close to douse the fire in case it gets out of hand. If you can’t put it out quickly, call 9-1-1.

These fire pit safety tips can help prevent unmanageable fires, injuries and more. If disaster does strike, home insurance can help you and your family when you need it most. Learn more about Nationwide’s homeowners insurance coverage options today. Learn more about fire pit safety from ThisOldHouse and HGTV.