Backyard fire pits are a rising trend among outdoor living spaces. Fire pits conveniently provide a way to enjoy the backyard during cooler weather and are perfect for homeowners who enjoy entertaining or spending time outside with their family. A warm fire creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, whether you’re curling up quietly under the stars or laughing with a group of friends. Ensure everyone has a good time and stays safe by implementing these important safety tools.
Positioning & Preparing Your Fire Pit
- Contact your local building department to inquire about any codes or regulations you may be required to follow. At Archadeck, one of the first calls we make is to the local village so that we can create a fire pit design that adheres to the required safety standards.
- Position your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- Check the forecast before lighting a fire and avoid windy conditions that can blow embers.
- Remove any leaves or other combustible materials around the fire pit area to ensure a fire doesn’t accidentally spread
- Have a bucket of sand or a garden hose nearby to put out any stray sparks. Using a multi-patterned nozzle on your hose is recommended. A shower spray will douse a flare-up while a stream of water could spread sparks.
- Keep fire gloves nearby to handle hot parts of the fire pit safely.
Lighting Your Fire Pit
- Never use lighter fluid, gas, or kerosene to light a fire.
- For built-in fire pits, natural gas provides a cleaner burn with less smoke. Be sure to limit the amount of gas you use for the fire—only use what is necessary to keep it burning gently.
- Only burn wood that has been seasoned at least 6 months. Do not use construction materials, such as plywood or composite woods as these materials can release toxic fumes when burned. Softwoods, such as pine and birch, tend to produce more crackles and sparks. Seasoned hardwoods, like oak or hickory, are less likely to produce these crackles and sparks.
Using Your Fire Pit
- Never leave a fire pit unattended.
- Never leave children or pets unattended near a fire pit.
- Consider investing in a screen or wire mesh to keep embers inside and help prevent children or pets from falling in.
- Position chairs with enough room for people to rise and move around seats without the risk of tripping or falling into the fire. Built-in patio seat walls are a great way to ensure there is always plenty of space to move safely and comfortably.
- Don’t put garbage or paper products into the fire. They can easily spark and throw off embers or burning remnants.
Extinguishing Your Fire Pit
- If you have a wood burning fire-pit, drench with water and stir with the shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished.
- Dispose of the ashes in a safely by keeping a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Ashes can still be hot enough to cause a fire 2 or 3 days later.
- Do not dispose of hot ashes in a compost pile, cardboard box or anything that is combustible.
Archadeck of Chicagoland is the premier Chicagoland builder for decks, patios, screen porches, and much more. If you’re considering an outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a free Archadeck Design Consultation or call our office at (847) 749-2373.
See you in the backyard!