Outdoor fire pits have become an increasingly popular outdoor home accessory. If you have a fire pit or are considering adding one to your yard, here are a few things you should think about for safety.
- Check with your local building codes officer to determine if there is a legal minimum distance for placement of your fire pit from any built structures on your property (your home, sheds, etc.).
- Typically you want to place your fire pit in an open area with seating arranged with plenty of space for guests to maneuver around the fire without coming too close.
- There should be good ventilation around the fire pit as well.
- Use seasoned hard woods like oak or maple for your fires as softer woods (pines and cedars) have a greater tendency to pop and splinter when burned and can cause burning embers to fly.
- Start your fire with kindling only and avoid using lighter fluids of any kind in your fire pit.
- Use a screen to cover your fire pit to keep any stray embers from flying out.
- Never leave a fire pit unattended and keep a careful eye on children when the fire pit is in use.
- Don’t allow blankets or loose flammable clothing (nylons) near the fire pit.
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to fully extinguish the fire when you are done (or use a garden host set for a wide gentle spray), and allow coals to fully cool for 24 hrs. before disposal.
- Check with your insurance company to find out if your policy holder requires you to declare use of a fire pit at your home.
If you should have any questions about your insurance, please feel free to contact our team at Bieritz Agency in Cooperstown (607) 547-2951 or Morris Insurance in Morris at (607) 263-5170. We are happy to help you!