Fire Pit Safety Tips

Building a fire pit can be as simple as circling stones in your backyard or as involved as hiring a professional to build one 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 the pit.
  • To prevent fire damage, build or set up the pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees, and other permanent objects.
  • Smooth stones from riverbeds may have contain moisture, making them susceptible to heating up rapidly and even exploding. That’s why we recommend using dry, rough stones instead.

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 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.
  • Make sure guests maintain a safe distance from the flames and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Keep close tabs on children and pets.

Extinguishing the fire

  • Once you extinguish the fire with water, gently stir and spread the ashes to cool. Stay nearby until the ashes are cool to the touch.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand within easy reach in case the fire rages out of control. If you can’t douse it quickly, call 9-1-1.

Should a guest or member of your family receive a burn from the outdoor fire or anywhere else in your home, follow these procedures as spelled out on the Mayo Clinic website.

To play it safe, stop by or bring the burn victim to MedCare Express on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington. We’re the only walk-in clinic in Greater Hartford that’s open 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.