More and more homeowners are adding firepits to their backyards, and we can understand why. Firepits are an excellent catalyst for year-round entertainment and add a wonderful addition to your outdoor space. But we want to remind you that you are literally playing with fire when you’re using a fire pit. Therefore, whether you already own a fire pit or are planning on purchasing one, we suggest that you put some effort into reviewing fire pit safety.

A cosy fire has the potential to burst into a flaming inferno within a matter of minutes, to protect yourself, family and property against potential fire hazards we suggest following these simple guidelines:

1. Positioning your fire pit:

Firepit safety starts with positioning it perfectly. It is essential to place your fire pit on level ground, especially when you are dealing with a loose standing, portable fire pit. Also, remember to put your fire pit at least two to three meters away from surrounding plants and buildings.

Don’t position your fire pit underneath a building overhang. It would be best if you also took extra precaution when you are lighting a fire underneath overhanging trees, which can easily catch on fire from flying wood-fire sparks. Also, consider placing your fire pit in an area where there are plenty of non-combustible materials like bricks or sand.

2. Fueling your flame:

We believe you should only use wood that has been seasoned for at least 5 to 6 months. Using construction materials like plywood and composite woods are a big no-no as it releases toxic fumes when lit. Certain softwoods are more prone to produce sparks and crackles, and we would advise using hardwoods like Blackwattle or Rooikrans instead.

NEVER USE LIGHTER FLUID TO LIGHT YOUR FIRE! We cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Lighting a fire with any gasoline is extremely dangerous and can damage your property within a matter of seconds as well as cause third-degree burns.

3. Putting out wayward sparks:

Always have a bucket of sand close to your fire pit. Having a garden hose close by can also come in handy when dealing with wayward sparks, providing you have the correct hose setting set up. A “spray setting will clear the fire out, but a direct stream of water might end up causing more problems because it will likely spread the burning embers.

Keep some fire gloves close by; it will come in handy when you are dealing with hot parts of the fire pit.

4. Positioning chairs strategically:

Consider using heavy or built-in chairs, so that guests don’t become tempted to move their seats to close to the cosy fire. Light, plastic chairs are sometimes flimsy; therefore, you want to keep these types of seats as far away from your fire pit as possible

We want to end off by reminding you to extinguish your fire safely and adequately dispose of the ashes before heading inside for the evening.

Having a fire pit is lots of fun. However, it is not a toy, and when it’s mismanaged, it can cause serious implications. Therefore, we advise that you take our suggestions to heart when it comes to fire pit safety, or you might end up having a real predicament at hand.