How to Use Your Fire Pit Safely

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    There is nothing more satisfying than lighting a fire in your fire pit and gathering around with the family for an evening of great conversation and marshmallow toasting. Of course, anytime fire is involved in an activity, it is crucial to be as safe as possible.

    At High Prairie Landscaping, we install a variety of outdoor fire features and have become well acquainted with local laws and safety precautions here in Kansas regarding a fire. Here, we have compiled a list of tips to help you use your fire safely.

    Open Areas are Best for Fire Usage

    There is a reason the fire department regulates the distance open fires may be from buildings and other structures. It takes a mere change of the wind for a fun outdoor fire to become a catastrophe. Building your fire in an open area away from trees, bushes, sheds, and your home will help ensure the fire does not spread should things get out of control.

    Open areas are also good for fire pits because it allows the fire easy access to oxygen that helps get things going. If your fire pit is not enclosed, ensure you build some sort of stone or metal enclosure around the fire pit to keep it in place and protect your property.

    Check the Weather

    Before you start a fire, check your local weather network. Here in Kansas, we see lots of beautiful weather, but things do get windy from time to time. Wind affects fire by sending it in directions you are not expecting. If you know where the wind is headed, you can seat yourself and your guests accordingly, ensuring nobody is in the line of smoke and ash.

    Watch for Fire Bans

    As you are checking the weather, be sure to watch for local fire bans. On hot days when draught is a problem, the fire department may restrict outdoor fires to prevent accidents. Burning during a fire ban could get you in trouble, but it could also create danger at home. Many forest and city fires begin in a contained fire that has gone out of control.

    Avoid Wood from Construction Projects

    Finding wood for your fire pit is as easy as locating a local kindling supplier or chopping some wood from your property. However, when it comes to construction lumber, be wary. Most lumber is treated with chemicals to ensure it is weatherproofed, sealed, and ready to paint. Burning this wood will emit toxins into the air, which could make you and your family sick. You may even find that it is difficult to burn the lumber; this is because some of the chemicals it is treated with are meant to reduce the risk of house fires.

    Have Water at the Ready

    This tip is an obvious one, but we still like to mention it, because so many homeowners think it will be easy to grab a bucket of water at the end of the fire and be done with it. Having water pails handy before you light your fire prepares you for later and protects you against accidents. Should the fire rage out of control, you have water there to extinguish it.

    Having a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby is also helpful, just be sure it does not get close to the fire, as they are combustible.

    Maintain a Healthy Distance

    Whether at home or while camping, keeping a healthy distance from your fire, both for people and furniture, is important. Sparks from the fire can fly out much farther than you realize and if they land on flammable material, in your hair, or on your clothes they will burn. Maintaining a healthy distance from the fire allows you to see and feel the glow without the risk of a burn.

    Keep a Watchful Eye

    Leaving a fire unattended, even while it seems tame, is never a good idea. Fires are unpredictable, and even the safest fire pit can spread if it is not properly observed. If you need to step away from your fire for a moment, ask somebody else to watch the fire pit in your absence.

    Call High Prairie Landscaping for Your Fire Pit Installation Today

    Interested in installing a fire pit on your property? High Prairie Landscaping can help you find the right fit for your home. We have been in the landscaping game long enough to know what looks good and functions well with different property types. Call 1-816-398-2901 or contact us on our website for more information.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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