Safety Tips for Your Deck Fireplace or Fire Pit

Wednesday, September 23rd was the first official day of autumn, and we’re already feeling it cool off outside. The days to sit on your deck or patio are numbered, so we suggest you make the most out of it by using your deck fire pit or fireplace. Call your friends… your family… get the makings for some s’mores or a bottle of wine – whatever you’re into. Enjoy the crisp autumn air under some blankets around a warm fire with your favorite people.

Friends around fire pit

Source: lowes.com

And…. Make sure you’re safe!

Here are some quick reminders:

Watch for sparks

If your fire pit actually uses wood – as opposed to coals or something else – watch out for sparks landing on your clothes, other belongings, or surrounding plants. If it’s been dry lately, a spark could easily ignite a secondary, less relaxing fire.

Just because it can burn, doesn’t mean it should burn

Certain materials emit toxins when burned. For example, particleboard (among other types of wood) releases cancer-causing toxins. Furthermore, any wood that has been stained, painted, or treated turns into toxic ash that you could easily inhale.

Household items like aluminum foil or pans, colored paper (newspaper, magazines, etc.) or cardboard, and plastic items are also toxic when burned.

You could also inhale poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Even when it’s dead, the smoke can still cause fatal lung inflammation. Lastly, don’t pour accelerants on a fire that already exists, and use caution if you’re using these to start a fire.

Keep some sort of extinguisher nearby just in case

This could be an actual fire extinguisher, a big bucket of water, or a garden hose.

Check the weather

If you’re planning to have people over and want to use your fire pit, or if you spontaneously decide to make a fire one evening, pay attention to the weather. Windy conditions will blow ashes around, and this could lead to the kind of fire you don’t want.

Earlier we said to watch for sparks landing on surrounding plants when it’s been dry out. Before you start the fire, make sure to sweep away all fallen leaves and remove any fallen twigs or branches that could catch fire.

Location, location, location

If you’re fire pit is in a permanent location, then you’ve probably already discussed this issue when you were planning your patio design with your deck builder. If not, make sure that you place your mobile fire pit at least 10 feet away from any flammable surface – the side of your home, the railing of your deck, furniture, potted plants, garden beds, etc.

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