Fire Pit Safety Tips to help you enjoy your outdoor fire pit. Learn how to put out a fire pit safely so that you can have peace of mind after your outdoor gathering comes to an end.
Selecting a Location for Your Fire Pit
Selecting the proper location for your fire pit will ensure that you and your property will be safe when using a fire pit.
Always ask the local authorities to make sure you are following the law. Some areas do not allow the use of backyard fire pits, while others may require that you follow specific rules.
The fire pit should be at least a distance of 10-20 feet away from any outdoor structures, your home, surrounding plants, and low-hanging trees.
Do not place or build your fire pit on unlevel ground. If the ground beneath your fire pit is not level, it could tip, and logs could potentially roll away from the pit. Clearly, not a good idea.
Always have your pet on a non-flammable surface, like an open patio, blocks, or concrete.
Do not use a fire pit on a deck made of wood or near dry grass.
It’s not a good idea to put a fire pit under a roof or enclosure. You cannot put a fire pit under a pavilion, gazebo, or pergola.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit
A fire pit is a great way to gather around and enjoy time with friends and family. It can be used for cooking, as a source of ambient heat, or to look at the flames. The problem is that they can be pretty dangerous if not taken care of properly.
There are several ways to put out a fire pit, but they all need to be done quickly and safely. Some people use dirt or a bucket of sand on their pits because they’re easy to access and will smother the flames immediately. Others use water because it will douse the fire quickly as well. And a fire extinguisher could also work by removing any oxygen from the area around the pit to put out the flame without any hassle.
Note: These instructions and guidance do not address how to put out fire pit fires in propane or gas-burning fire pits – we’re only talking about the wood-burning type in this article.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit Fire by Letting It Die Out On Its Own
A fire pit is a type of fire that is contained in a pit. The ashes from the fire will slowly burn themselves out, and over time, the fire will die out.
To put out a fire pit, you must first remove any combustible materials from the pit and then cover it with dirt or sand. Letting it die out on its own by removing all materials nearby will not impact the environment; instead of using an extinguisher that will have some toxic fumes that can negatively affect your health and other people in the area.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit Using Water
When you’re out camping or in the backyard, it’s not uncommon to find yourself needing to put out a fire.
The first thing that should be done is to remove any nearby combustible material such as dry leaves and brush that start forest fires.
Next, get a large container for the water and fill it with water, then pour the water all over the fire pit.
Finally, cover the area with dirt and use a rake or shovel to ensure that all hot coals are covered up.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit Using a Snuffer
What is a Fire Pit snuffer?
If you were wondering, a firepit snuffer is a metal lid or cover placed over the pit to smother the flames.
What is the best fire pit snuffer?
Ensure that the backyard fire pit snuffer you are using is either made specifically for your pit or a minimum of the size of your pit’s opening.
How do I use it?
How to do it:
Option 1, you will snuff out the fire and let the embers cool on their own, keeping the safety precautions in mind or,
Option 2, you can add water to the cooling embers once the fire is out via the snuffer, ensuring they are fully saturated; use a shovel to stir the coal until all embers are completely soaked. Remain cautious as the fire pit’s metal will still be hot to the touch.
How to Put Out a Fire Pit Using Sand or Dry Dirt
This option is a standard method for putting out bonfires and campfires and works with fire pits.
How to do it:
Have your dry sand/dry dirt stash ready before you start your fire
When ready to put the fire out, begin by slowly shoveling sand or dirt into the fire pit, ensuring all contents are completely covered.
Spread out the remaining firewood or coals with a shovel or stick.
They will extinguish much quicker if they’re not touching, as the fire will hold less heat. Just watch out for any red embers, and pay special attention to larger chunks of wood. They may look cool outside, but they could still hold some substantial heat in the center.
Do a temperature check on the area where your fire was.
You should be able to touch it with no pain and without feeling any heat. Ensure that the fire pit and surrounding area are completely cool. If not, repeat the previous steps until you are sure that the fire is entirely out.
Never wait until the last moment before you leave to extinguish the fire pit. You should start the process once you start packing up so that you can be sure the fire is entirely out by the time you leave the area. Putting out your fire as a last-minute task before you go is dangerous, as if you don’t take the time to do it right, there could still be hot coal around.
Always check the whole area for stray sparks and embers. This is how forest fires start in the dry season.
What do you do with the ashes from a backyard fire pit?
Get rid of your ashes.
Once the ashes are completely cooled, you can scoop them up and put them in a metal bucket for a few days to ensure that they are extinguished and you won’t start a fire in your backyard.
After a few days, you can add the ashes to your compost, which will make your soil rich.
Firepit ash can be put in your garden to repel pests. Adding wood ashes to the soil will make your tomatoes larger and plumper.
It’s not a good idea to leave your ashes in a fire pit even if there’s no fire anymore. Rust will occur inside your fire pit if the ashes are left inside. Make sure that you empty them.
Understand local burn ordinances and burn bans
For the community’s safety, some areas put burn bans in place during wildfire season. It’s essential to keep these in mind when choosing the type of fire pit to install.
Keep the right supplies on hand.
It’s a good idea to have your fire pit the proper distance away from overhanging vegetation, dry fuel sources, and other dangers. It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water.
It doesn’t take long for a spark to get caught in the wind and start a fire outside the pit.
A spark screen or protective screen cover is a great way to keep the fire from getting out of control. If you will need to move your fire pit after using it (you never know when it’s going to rain), having some heat-resistant mitts or thick oven mitts on hand is helpful.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
To enjoy the fire in your fire pit without stress or worry, you should take into account basic fire pit safety guidelines when you start your fire.
Once you start a fire in a fire pit, never leave it unattended when there is a fire or hot ash in it.
If you are entertaining kids or pets, make sure you keep a close eye on them. If they are not safe around the fire pit, you will need to have them play a safe distance away or put out your fire.
You can make your fire pit safer with a fire pit screen. The pit should have a spark screen to keep the ashes in. You should use a fire pit screen if you want to burn soft firewood such as cedar.
It would be best if you had a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose close by so that you can put out any embers that may ignite. If you are going to use a hose, use a nozzle that has a spray setting. The sparks from a direct stream of water can be more dangerous than good.
Keep a pair of fire gloves nearby.
Heavy outside furniture is an excellent investment. The furniture will prevent guests from moving too close to the fire.
Position the chairs so that people can rise and move about without the risk of falling into the fire.
In the worst-case scenario, a fire blanket can be used to save someone who has clothes that catch on fire.
It’s a good idea to have a fully charged, dry-chemical fire extinguisher close. It’s not enough to have the extinguisher close by, and you also need to know how to use it.
It’s not a good idea to use your fire pit when there are windy conditions. A day where the wind is under 15 mph would be ideal. If the trees are swaying in the wind, it’s probably too windy.
It’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit in an easy-to-reach location.
What are the Risks of an Unattended Fire Pit?
It’s not unusual for cooling fire pits to be as dangerous as those with strong fires because nobody is in the area to alert others to dangers that could occur.
Can You Leave a Fire Pit Burning Overnight?
A common question is if you can leave the fire burning overnight and allow it to burn out on its own.
It would be an easier option, but it is also hazardous. During dry conditions, even a tiny ember can cause a fire.
If your pit is made of metal, water’s ability to quickly cool and put out the flames doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
If your fire pit is made of metal, the sudden change from hot to cold can weaken the material and cause it to crack. This could be a violation of the product warranty, depending on the manufacturer.
This is an option of putting out fires if you want to replace your fire pit regularly. If you want your fire pit to last longer, there are other ways to put out a fire without water, which will also help protect the structural integrity of your fire pit.
Sand and Dirt
If you want to keep a metal fire pit for seasons after seasons, this option is ideal. It’s a practical option if your garden hose can’t reach your backyard fire pit because it’s a permanent feature of your landscape, and you can’t easily move it.
The best way to put out a fire pit without water is with a snuffer. A snuffer is a device that can be put on top of a fire pit to cut off the oxygen flow to the fire.
If you’re looking to buy a snuffer for your fire pit, you’ll want to keep in mind the dimensions of your fire pit opening for optimal results.
It’s best used on wood-burning fire pits with a solid enclosed burning area, like fire bowls or hardscaped fire pits. It won’t work as well with fire pits that feature cut-out designs, as these will allow air to flow into the burning area, which enables the fire to continue burning.
To put out a fire in a gas fire pit, you turn it off.
Before covering your gas fire pit or putting a protective lid on it, you need to make sure that the decorative elements are cool to the touch.
When using gas fire pits, make sure the burner, gas lines, connections, hoses, and fittings are tight, secure, and clean. The vent openings and surrounding areas need to be kept free of dirt and debris at all times. The flow of gas can be disrupted by bugs, dirt, and build-up. It is a good idea to have the pit and gas supply inspected by a professional at least once a year.
Gas fire pits are becoming a popular choice for relaxing on a cool evening.
Make sure to maintain your fire pit after the party is over. As long as you care for the pit, they will provide years of enjoyment. The ashes and sand should be taken away the next day. Rainwater can turn your fire pit ashes into a sludge that’s hard to clean.
If you’re using a cooking grate for cooking food over your wood-burning pit, you should always clean up after yourself to avoid a build-up of food waste.
Enjoy Your Fire Pit
Your outdoor pit is an excellent addition to your backyard and gives you the chance to host more intimate social gatherings. Depending on the fire pit you have, you can cook meals on the open flame.
It’s important to follow simple safety guidelines and maintenance tips to keep you and your friends safe. A wood-burning fire adds a pleasant atmosphere to a chilly outdoor evening, and many people find it relaxing. Ensuring you know how to put out a fire pit the right way will give you peace of mind, and make sure the time you spend around the fire will be the best experience for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Put Out a Fire Pit?
There are a variety of safe methods to put out a fire pit.
What should I do if there is a fire?
Whenever a fire is involved, precautions must be taken.
What are the safety precautions?
A responsible adult should be responsible for the burning pit.
How do I ensure my fire pit is safe?
Picking the right site for your outdoor fire pit is one way to make sure it is safe.
Where Should I Build a Fire Pit?
Fires should be a safe distance of 10 to 20 feet away from plants and buildings.
What is a fire pit?
The most straightforward fire pit of all is a metal fire pit, which can be a metal bowl that may or may not come with a grill top and a spark screen cover.
What is a fire pit drain?
The more sophisticated version will have a drain in the center connected to a pipe that runs underground to dispose of the rain.
What are the best options for putting out fire pits?
The metal fire pit covers are an excellent way to put out fire pits.
What are the Best Snuffer Lids?
You want a sturdy, cone-shaped cover with no holes to allow air to enter.
Safety tips: Do Not Leave a Fire Pit Unattended?
If you decide to allow the fire pit to burn out on its own, many risks need to be considered.
What if the fire gets out of hand?
The embers only need to contact dry wood, grass, or pine needles to start a fire.
What Are the Safety Risks of Fire Pits?
Fire pits can add style and warmth to your outdoor area, but they can be dangerous if not used properly.
What do you use for a wood-burning pit?
If you have a wood-burning pit, always use dry, seasoned sticks or wood.
How do I use my wood in a fire pit?
You don’t want to pile the wood in a single clump when arranging it in the fire pit. The wood needs to be organized, so there is room between it.
How do I start a wood fire?
There are two ways to start a wood fire: crumpled-up paper beneath the sticks or a fire starter, or lighter fluid.
What do I do if ash is still burning?
It’s best to pour water on the ashes slowly.