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Fire Pit Safety 101

Father and son at fire pit

Are Fire Pits Safe?

Whether you’re an avid fire pit enthusiast or are looking to spruce up your backyard oasis, these fire pit safety guidelines will help you make the most of time spent around the portable pit, fireplace or chiminea:

  1. Watch what you wear. Avoid wearing clothing that’s flammable (such as nylon) or loose-fitting. 
  2. Park it in the right spot. A big part of fire pit safety involves where you put you it. Set up your fire pit at a safe distance from your house, trees and anything flammable — at least 10 feet away. Put your fire pit on a level stone, concrete or brick surface. Consult the safety warnings in your owner’s manual.
  3. Design a child safe fire pit. To keep young children and pets at a safe distance, surround the pit with a child safety fence.
  4. Burn good wood. Always burn dry, seasoned hardwood, such as maple, oak or hickory that was cut at least six months before use. You’ll also want logs that are no longer than three-quarters of the pit’s diameter to minimize sparks.
  5. Use the right tools. Use fireplace tongs and a poker to maneuver wood into the flames and adjust it. Never use your bare hands and never toss or drop in logs. If your fire pit has a screen, be sure to use it.
  6. Start safely. Forget about using lighter fluids, gas, kerosene or other like products to start a fire. There are much safer alternatives, such as a store-bought fire starter.
  7. Keep it small. There’s no need for a blazing bonfire. In fact, your municipality may have ordinances against them.
  8. Always be ready to put it out. Even a controlled fire can quickly get out of control. Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, bucket of sand or garden hose close by, just in case.
  9. Stop safely. Properly extinguish flames by spreading the ashes around the pit with your poker. Then, pour water over the ashes. Make absolutely certain it is completely out.
  10. Be smart at all times. A fire of any size demands serious safety precautions, especially if it’s your first time using a fire pit. Only burn materials recommended by the manufacturer or ones considered non-hazardous. Never leave your fire unattended.

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover My Fire Pit?

Now that you’ve brushed up on fire pit safety guidance, it may be a good idea to check with your insurance agent by visiting our Contact Us page to understand how a fire pit may potentially impact your coverage.

Click here for more information about insurance in your state.