Installing a fire pit in your outdoor space is a great idea because it creates the perfect ambiance for warm summer evenings. With a fire pit, you can spend more time in the outdoors without staying cold. You can enjoy camp nights, bonfires, movie nights, nighttime barbecue parties, or hang with friends.
While a fire pit has a myriad of benefits, the one disadvantage it holds is that it can become a significant safety risk. Considering the smoke and fire, you have to be extra careful, especially if you have children. Additionally, a fire pit needs constant maintenance and a bit of work if you want to make it last for a long time.
The durability of a fire pit depends on the type of fire pit you have and the precautionary measures you take.
If you have just bought a fire pit for your outdoor area, here are some of the fire pit mistakes you should avoid to be safe and to ensure your fire pit lasts for many seasons to come.
Fire Pit Mistakes You Must Avoid to Ensure Safety
· Placing Your Pit Near a Surface
First things first, you will need to place your fire pit ten to twenty feet away from your house, trees, shrubs, seating area, or any other surface that can catch on fire. Additionally, make sure there are no hanging trees or flowers near the fire pit.
Most importantly, do not place your fire pit on a wooden deck or patio because that can be a significant fire hazard.
· Not Gathering the Essentials
Before lighting your fire, make sure you have all of these essentials to ensure maximum safety:
- A fire mesh to place on top of the pit to avoid embers from falling. Here are our top picks for metal fire ring inserts for fire pits.
- A shovel, bucket of sand, and water to extinguish the fire in case of emergencies
- A fire blanket and fire extinguisher
· Ignoring the Direction of the Wind
Before lighting your fire, you also need to check the wind and see if it’s blowing in the wrong direction, such as towards your house or trees. Make sure the air quality of your area is also appropriate for lighting a fire.
· Adding Big Logs First
When lighting a fire, make sure you add smaller logs first before adding the bigger ones so that your fire starts small initially. Only put a small number of logs in the fire to avoid having a big fire, which can be dangerous.
· Putting Hazardous Products in the Fire Pit
Avoid using lighter fluids as they have toxins and chemicals that increase the fire’s intensity very quickly, making it hard to manage. Moreover, it also holds the risk of causing an explosion in some instances.
Other products you must avoid putting in the fire pit include paper products and construction products.
· Leaving the Fire Unattended
You can’t leave the fire unattended. If you are done for the day, put it out. This needs to be done very carefully and with some diligent steps. Here is the proper way to put out the fire once you are done using the fire pit:
- Drown the fire with water by spraying a little bit of water from the hose and then using the ashes from the pit to cover the fire and extinguish it
- Put a bucket of sand on the fire and then use a shovel to spread the ashes on top.
Take a look at this guide to putting out a fire pit for more information.
Once the fire is out, clean the fire pit only once the ash and contents inside it have cooled off completely. Here is a full guide on how to clean out a fire pit. If the ash is too hot, you might burn yourself, and if you dispose of it in the bin, it might cause a fire if there are any combustible products inside the bin.
Tips to Make Your Fire Pit Last Longer
Now that you know the general fire pit mistakes to avoid when you are about to or have lit the fire pit, here are some mistakes you should avoid if you want to make the fire pit last longer.
- Choose a high-quality fire pit. Take a look at our top picks of the best gas fire pits if you are looking to buy a contemporary one.
- Use locally sourced wood that is not wet.
- The best thing to do is to allow the fire to extinguish naturally.
- If you plan to cook on the fire pit, apply cooking oil to the grate before you add the food
- Once you are done cooking on the fire pit, make sure to clean the grate once it has cooled off thoroughly.
- Cover your fire pit when you do not use it or keep it in a shaded area away from the rain; otherwise, it will cause rust and erosion.
- Wipe off soot and any residue from the fire pit after you are done using it
General Safety Precautions
Here are some necessary safety precautions you should take:
- Do not wear flammable or easily combustible clothes.
- Don’t leave the fire unattended.
- Keep children and pets away from the fire.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are close by at all times.
These were some of the fire pit mistakes you should avoid and precautions you must take when lighting a fire pit. Sure, it is an excellent addition to your home that allows you to have a great time with friends and family, but that does not mean you should not be careful.
Make sure you are mindful of all of these mistakes and stay safe.