Top 27 Tips From Experts on How to Safely Use A Fire Pit For This Fall
As the leaves turn and the nights get longer, many people will want to find a new way to enjoy their time outdoors. Fire pits are often one of those ways, as they can keep you warm on chilly summer nights and provide a beautiful view of the nighttime sky.
The fire pit is a great way to get your family together. Usually, it is used as a place for visitors to gather and mingle with the family. An outdoor fire pit can add a lot of aesthetic value to your home, making it look more attractive, serene, and alluring. These are some of the reasons one could go ahead and invest in an outdoor fire pit for his or her home.
Not only that, there are few other things as warming during the fall season as gathering around a fire pit. There is nothing quite like the crackling sound of a campfire. Sipping red wine as you watch the sun set, the dancing flames, or chatting and the laughter of good friends, is sure to banish any chill that drifts through the nights.
However, before you go ahead and make the investment, there are a few things you will have to consider. A safe distance, a fire extinguisher, sand nearby, or water nearby are among the top safety measures. In addition, an open fire with the wrong wind direction can quickly catch fire and spread to combustible materials such as wood deck. What you may not be aware of is that there are dangers associated with these activities. To ensure you're enjoying all the benefits of this tradition without suffering an injury, follow these 27 expert tips on how to safely use a fire pit this fall.
1. Choose the right kind of fire pit.
The first thing you will have to look at is the type of fire pit you want to buy. The main types of fire pits include gas, wood burning, and electric versions. Wood-burning fires are usually made from logs or pieces of wood that are arranged around a center point in a ring within the confines of your fire pit table. Electric fire pits are powered by electricity and do not require fuel.
Gas fire pits burn with natural gas, propane, or butane. They do not work on wood, coal, or charcoal. Propane fire pits are perfect if you also need a heater during the winter months.
2. Learn to use it properly.
Some people choose to go ahead and install their fire pit in the backyard, while others prefer it to be placed inside their homes or even on the patios of their houses.
Safety rules and regulations will also differ based on whether your fire pit is indoors or outdoors. When using an outdoor fire pit on the patio, along with setting it up correctly, consider where it is placed and what's nearby. This will include the distance to trees, fences, and any other objects that may get burned down.
When using a fire pit in an indoor setting, you have to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation and that the smoke can escape quickly. Many people are so led astray by modern technology that they fail to realize how important it is for a fire pit to be used safely.
If you're roasting marshmallows on wooden sticks, soak those in water for a few minutes beforehand to prevent scorching, or you can buy one roasting stick here.
3. Set it up correctly.
There are no two fire pits that are the same. Even if they resemble the same one, they will always vary slightly in size, design, material, and construction. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get a fire pit installed correctly:
Ensure everything is properly placed and maintained. Make sure your fire pit has all the required tools for setting it up and maintaining it, such as long-handled tools for tending it and adding fuel, along with tools for removing any ashes or excess water.
Always assemble the fire pit correctly. This is vital when using a gas or electric fire pit. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, and if you're still not sure about something, call or chat with us to talk to our professional before you try to use it.
When assembling stones around your fire pit, it is best to dry-lay the first circle of the bigger stones rather than wet them down. This will ensure they bind together as they dry and help to keep the entire fire pit stable. If it's temporarily, a basic portable fire pit can suffice.
4. Deal with spills correctly.
When you are working with fire pits all the time, there lies a huge risk of spills. Whether you spill water or oil on the fire pit ring, or a lit candle falls into it, ensure that you deal with this correctly. Post-haste, use a shovel or garden hose to remove any spilled fuel and water from your fire pit. Once the area is clean and dry, you can use sand to fill the area permanently.
5. Test it out first before lighting your fire.
It is always wise to test the fire pit before you use it. Some people are very excited about the use of their new fire pits, and fire pits that have not been used for a long time tend to have issues with their ignition systems. Always make sure that when you put the match or lighter to it, it lights evenly along its ring. This will ensure that every part is burning properly and it will make your experience more enjoyable.
6. Use quality fuel only.
In order to ensure that your fire pit is as safe and efficient as it can be, it is essential that you only use quality fuel. Once you are done using your fire pits, always dispose of the ashes properly. There are several ways to do this according to where you live:
In areas where there is a common dust bagging system for the disposal of coal, wood, and other combustible substances, use a shovel to shovel the ashes away from the safety of your area.
Ensure that you do not dispose of ashes in areas where it may get into water sources, as this can result in contamination. Do not use sand to cover the ashes as they will set and cause damage to the sand, making it unusable.
7. Use appropriate firewood.
Using the right firewood is just as important as using quality fuel. However, some people don't pay much attention to this, thinking that any kind of wood will work provided it burns properly. The truth is, any kind of wood that you use will have an effect on the safety of your fire pit. This includes using wood that has dried out and burning old trees that may have insects or diseases or both.
Specialty firewood is best suited for campfires as it is naturally disease resistant, better in quality, and creates a better ash than any other kind of wood. However, it is still recommended to discard the wood when it has cooled completely so that the remaining debris can be disposed of safely.
Dry, seasoned wood is best for fire pits as it creates less smoke and burns faster.
Avoid using pine and coniferous wood in your fire pit, as they tend to produce a large amount of oily soot.
8. Handle the ashes properly.
It is always highly recommended to cover the ashes of your fire pit once it has been extinguished. It is a simple way of handling your ashes. However, make sure you are using a fire-resistant material as it will protect both you and the environment around you. This includes:
Using sand as it protects against wind erosion and helps ensure that there is no damage to the environment around it.
Using a synthetic material such as concrete, brick, or stone is preferable because they are fire resistant and protect against any wind erosion.
Using a brick if you can't find anything else to use.
9. Pick the right design.
The shape of your fire pit is just as important as the appearance of it. It will serve its purpose more effectively if you select a design that matches the aesthetics of your area. You could also consider doing this separately from the shape of your fire pit, like a circle, so that you can place it anywhere in your garden or patio to achieve an architectural look.
10. Put it in the right place.
When you are building a fire pit, it is important that you place them in the right spot so that you do not get your feet wet or end up burning yourself on the edges of water. That is why it is essential to locate them as close to your house or patio as possible and away from any nearby trees and plants.
11. Use good fire methods and materials.
When using a fire pit, you should always be aware of what kind of wood and methods you are using. Modern-day fire pits can be used in conjunction with paper and other flammable materials. Those that use charcoal or fuel will usually come with the necessary tools for either starting or maintaining a fire. It is highly recommended that you use these materials because they are much safer than anything else you could use to start your fire.
12. Make sure that you follow safety precautions.
It is essential that you follow safety precautions when you are using your fire pit. This will ensure that you and your family or friends are safe and secure while enjoying your hot drinks or even food. It is always a good idea to follow these safety concerns in order to achieve the highest sense of comfort, especially when it comes to children.
13. Use a cover.
It is highly recommended that you cover your fire pit in order to protect your family and guests from the heat. If you have a water source that is close by, it would be better to also place a lid over it to ensure that no ashes fall in or your fire pit is not damaged due to wind, rain, or fire. It will also ensure that the fire pit remains safe for longer and will not consume too much energy for its usage in the first place.
14. Keep children and pets away from hot surfaces.
Children and pets are always at risk of getting burned when they come into contact with hot surfaces. You can use a fire guard to prevent them from coming into contact with these surfaces. It is also helpful to teach children the fundamentals on how to handle their fire pit. Make sure that you have a way of cleaning ashes away so that they do not leave stains or even damage your surrounding plants and gardens.
15. Always use fire-resistant gloves.
It is always recommended to use fire-resistant gloves when you are handling an active fire pit. This is because the heat may cause your skin to become more sensitive and can burn you even with a slight contact with a hot surface. The heat rays can also cause severe damage to areas close by, particularly in cases where ashes have fallen below the ring that surrounds the pit.
16. Use handled tools.
It is always a good idea to use handled tools when you are handling any type of fire. This is because they will help prevent you from getting burned and make it easier for you to keep away from the heat of the fire itself. They will also make it easier for you to handle the ashes of your fire pit and decrease the amount of time spent maintaining the fire in its entirety.
17. Use netting and protection around the pit.
It is a good idea to use netting or other types of fire-proof material around your fire pit in order to protect your friends, family members, and neighbors from getting burned or hurt by the heat of the fire itself. It is also essential that you do not own any type of clothing, including wool, as it will be easily burned by the heat of the fire pit.
18. Don't leave unburned wood around the pit.
When you are done with your fire pit, make sure that you don't leave any unburned wood near it or above it. This can cause potential issues and could cause the fire pit to malfunction. It is best to have it removed as soon as possible and store it in the log holder.
19. Clean up ashes properly.
It can sometimes be challenging to clean up ashes and other types of material from your fire pit if you do not have the proper tools or equipment. It is best to have a shovel that is strong enough to dispose of the ashes in the quickest manner, especially when you are trying to use minimal time for the job. Using too much force could result in bending or breaking your shovel, which will result in a higher potential for injury.
20. Do not overheat your pit.
It is important that you do not overheat your fire pit. It is always recommended that you do not raise it above a temperature of about 750 degrees Fahrenheit in order to avoid damaging and destroying the rod of your fire pit. This can also cause your fire pit to malfunction and break down prematurely, which can cause injuries from your family or friends.
21. Avoid using too much wood.
It is important that you do not use too much wood when you are trying to use your fire pit. This will ensure that the heat of the fire will not be able to melt or burn anything around it besides the wood itself, making it a great flame for your friends and family to enjoy their time in your backyard, patio, or even camping area.
22. On windy days, be sure to use proper protection.
Invest in a wind shield for your fire feature on windy days. Wear protective clothing to avoid burns or injuries caused by the heat of the fire or ashes flying around your backyard, patio, or even camping area. A wind guard can also protect you and your family from excessive direct flame.
23. Don't move the fire pit once it is lit.
Children and animals may love playing around fire pits and other types of fires that are made for entertainment purposes. You should be sure that they do not touch, move or walk around a fire pit while it is still lit. They can accidentally cause burns or even injuries and should be kept away from the fire at all times.
24. Don't cook in your fire pit.
It is never recommended that you use your fire pit as a way to cook food items, especially those that contain grease or oil. Grease and oil can easily cause your fire pit to malfunction in some way and even cause safety hazards for those using it.
25. Don't store the fire pit in a shed or other area.
When you are done using your fire pit for the day, make sure that you put it away in a safe place that is not near any type of combustible material. This will help to avoid any accidents from occurring, as well as keep your family and friends from getting burned from hot surfaces or smoke coming out of the fire pit in any way, shape, or form.
26. Know your fire pits materials.
What kind of material is used to make a fire pit matters a lot because it determines what type of care your product will need, how long it will last and how much maintenance it will require. Most fire pits are usually made up of two types of material: cast iron and ceramic.
27. Don't leave the fire pit unattended.
Make sure your fire pit is located at least 10 feet from anything flammable—trees, vegetation, tents. It is important that you keep the fire pit under close observation at all times in order to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your friends and family members who may be enjoying time around it with you.
If you have any further questions about fire pit safety or installation, please contact us. We'd be delighted to assist! Contact our experts today by phone or chat.