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. Either way, keep safety in mind. Here are some fire pit safety tips from ThisOldHouse and HGTV:
DO: Build your fire pit on a level surface
Make sure the ground or surface is even to reduce the risk of fire escaping beyond your fire pit.
DO: Keep the fire at a safe distance
To keep your fire from causing damage, build the fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees and the like.
DON’T: Use gasoline or lighter fluid
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.
DO: Monitor guests around fire pits
Make sure guests maintain a proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.
DON’T: Build a fire pit with river stones
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.
DO: Check the weather report
Avoid using your fire pit on windy days, since flames or embers can spread to your home, yard and nearby trees.
DON’T: Leave a fire unattended
Even if your fire pit is small, flames can spread quickly if left unattended. Monitor at all times.
DO: Put your fire out safely
Once you extinguish your fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they’re cool to the touch.
DO: Have an emergency plan
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.