An outdoor fire pit is a great home feature that makes entertaining outdoors easier and more enjoyable. However, it's important to avoid bad fire pit use habits that can cause safety hazards.
The following are six bad habits you should avoid that compromise fire pit safety.
Using highly flammable liquids to start a fire
When you're struggling to get your fire started, you might be tempted to pour flammable liquids like lighter fluid onto your wood. However, this is dangerous.
Such flammable liquids give off fumes that are toxic. They can even cause an explosion in certain situations. It is possible that your fire could grow too fast for you to keep up with and eventually get out of control if you use these fluids to start your fire.
Ignoring wind conditions when lighting an outdoor fire
Heavy winds can be very dangerous when you are burning an outdoor fire. Winds can blow flames to the side and cause an outdoor fire to spread. Always check the wind speed and direction. Never light an outdoor fire if the forecast is predicting heavy winds.
Leaving children and pets unsupervised around a fire
If you have children or pets, you should always supervise them around an outdoor fire pit. In addition to supervising them, you should also explain to children the need to stay several feet back from the fire to avoid burns and stay safe.
Using softwood in your fire pit
It's inadvisable to use softwoods to burn a fire. Softwoods are prone to popping as they burn and throwing sparks. Make sure the wood you're using is appropriate for burning fires. Always use hardwoods to keep those around your fire safe.
Having no water supply around your fire
While you'll hopefully never have to use it, it's always important to have a water source like a hose that is easily accessible from your fire pit. This way, you can rapidly put out your fire if you ever start to feel like it's getting out of control.
Failing to ensure that a fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area
You shouldn't simply walk away and leave your fire unattended when you're done with it. Instead, you should fully extinguish your fire.
The best way to completely extinguish a fire is to pour water over the fire and stir the embers afterward to make sure that the entire area is wet. It's also a good idea to rinse off the fire ring around the fire to cool it down before you leave the site.