A backyard fire pit is a great addition to any home. It offers countless hours of outdoor entertaining, relaxation and even outdoor cooking. It’s a spot where family and friends can gather and memories can be made. Ignoring fire safety measures, however, can send the good times up in smoke. Backyard fire pits and outdoor heaters accounted for approximately 5,300 injuries in the U.S. in 2017. To keep loved ones and property safe, follow these fire safety tips.
Heed No-Burn Notices
Sometimes environmental factors may warrant a temporary ban on outdoor burning, and in those instances local governments may issue no-burn alerts. Whether it’s due to wildfire concerns during excessively dry periods or unhealthy air quality levels, it’s important to know the conditions, and any corresponding alerts, before starting a fire.
While the crackling and popping sounds of burning wood adds to the ambiance, it also releases embers into the air which could start fires when landing on trees, plants, buildings and individuals. Reducing these sparks is made much easier when using a screen. These mesh coverings are ideal for keeping embers from escaping and also preventing people and pets from falling into an open flame. Coverings are available for any type of fire pit, so simply search online for a custom fire pit screen to keep your family safe.
Use the Right Wood
Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that all wood burns the same, and that line of thinking can increase the risk of both wildfires and health concerns. Seasoned, dry hardwoods such as oak and walnut are ideal, as they burn hotter and cleaner. Cedar, pine and other softwoods do not burn as efficiently, resulting in more sparks and smoke, which can worsen breathing conditions for individuals with asthma, COPD and other respiratory issues. Most importantly, however, is to avoid burning pressure-treated lumber, plywood and other construction waste. These products contain harmful chemicals that result in toxic smoke.
Backyard fire pits are a great source of fun. Just follow these tips to stay safe.