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The first priority is to make sure the fire pit isn’t close to any structure. At the very least it should be 10 feet away from your house, shed, or garden fence. If your garden is large enough to accommodate even greater distances, do so.
Clearly this also means that your fire pit must not be positioned under a covered shelter or a tree canopy of branches.
The surface is also important. Never place a fire pit on a flammable surface, (such as wood decking or grass), concrete or tiling and brickwork are your friend here.
Put simply, the further your fire pit is from anything that could burn, the better.
Preparation is key to ensuring safety when using a fire pit.
Again, all flammable materials should be kept well away from the pit. Before you light anything, check the surroundings are tidy and organised, (a clear zone of 5 feet is a good starting point).
Having a circle of dirt or rock surrounding the pit will act as a good demarcation zone, should the fire start to spread across the ground.
Your pit should be deep enough to adequately hold the fire without burning pieces dropping into the floor.
Take a moment to check the wind direction. If there’s anything downwind of the pit, clear it out of the way.
If the wind is too high, it could be that tonight is the night for a bit of fire pit action.
Lighter fluid is a big no, no when it comes to light a fire pit. It is difficult to predict and control and the sudden ignition of the fluid can do horrible things to your eyebrows
Your best bet is to use a commercial fire starter cubes or sticks. Place some thin kindling on top of this and gradually build the fire from there.
Using Your Fire Pit
1st rule of fire pit – Never leave it unattended.
2nd rule of fire pit – never leave it unattended.
The first rule is so important we have no choice but to state it twice.
It actually leads on to the other rules too. It goes without saying that you should never leave children or your pets near a fire pit alone.
Try to limit the amount of fuel you use. There are no kudos points being passed around because you’ve got 5 foot high flames flickering into the air.
Add to the fire sparingly so that everyone stays warm and can enjoy the evening without their arm hairs being singed.
Never put garbage or paper products into the fire. Likewise, pine or cedar should be avoided. Highly flammable materials can pop or throw sparks. This is how fires can spread.
A wire mesh cover is a good idea if you do have children playing while the fire pit is in full swing. This can keep the embers and sparks safely within the confines of the pit. (It also helps prevent hands getting too close).
Make sure granny isn’t wearing a dress that might flap in the breeze in the direction of the flames. The end result of that is a Youtube video waiting to happen, (along with a follow up trip to the emergency room.)
Remember, common sense is key. A good practice is to keep a bucket of water to one side. Better to be safe than sorry as they say.