Summer Fun & Outdoor Fire Safety | Fort Lauderdale Fire Damage Blog

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The Dangers of Fire Pits

Outdoor fire pits have become all the rage in the last few years. A fire pit is perfect for roasting marshmallows in the backyard, warming up a cool evening on the patio or adding a decorative touch to your outdoor living room. For all their coziness, however, a fire pit’s main ingredient is fire – and it must be handled with care. In a recent study by the National Fire Safety Council, many parents reported that they consider fire pits, candles and tiki torches to be the most hazardous outdoor items, but they don’t make safety a top priority in outdoor living. Read on for tips to avoid the dangers of outdoor fire.

Don’t Play with Fire Pits!

Fire pits are generally open and some models are nothing more than metal bowls filled with charcoal or wood. Fancier models burn natural or propane gas and come with cooking grills and other accessories. No matter which model you go for, be sure the whole family knows these fire pit safety rules before you light the first flame:

  • Position it Safely. Place or build your fire pit at least 10 feet from structures and flammable items.
  • Put it on Solid Ground. Place a fire pit on a solid surface and in an open area, avoiding over handing trees or rooflines.
  • Keep an Extinguisher Handy. Always keep a fire extinguisher near your fire pit and know how to use it correctly.
  • Man the Flame. Never leave any fire unattended, especially if children are nearby.
  • Stay Three Feet from the Heat. Establish a three-foot “kid-free zone” around your fire pit. Teach your children and their friends the rule and always watch children who are near a fire.
  • Avoid the Lighter Fluid. The National Fire Protection Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission say pourable gel fuel can cause flash fires and burns when added to an already burning fire pit. Both organizations warn against using gel fuel.
  • Cool it. Throwing water in a fire pit may not be enough to extinguish the flame completely. To be safe, let coals cool and gently pour water over them. Make sure the embers are completely extinguished before going indoors.

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