Fire Pit Safety Tips
Aussies love to socialize with family and friends and we are increasingly adding fire pits to our outdoor areas. Fire pits are popular as they can be used at any get together at any time of year, whether it is hot or cold; however, you need to take fire safety seriously.
If you are thinking about getting a fire pit for your backyard, the things you need to think about first and foremost is safety, where you can place your firepit, how much you want to spend on a fire pit, and what fuel you want to use to burn your fires.
Check the wind direction before lighting your fire and avoid wearing anything loose or flammable such as nylon, as these can catch on fire easily.
Some soft wood can throw sparks and pop which is a risk of spreading fire or someone getting an injury. Try to avoid using soft wood, this includes woods such as cedar and pine.
It is very important to know how to put your fire out properly, as well as safe disposal of ashes.
So, while there is nothing better than a get together with your friends and family around a fire pit, always remember the use of a fire pit requires attention to safety.
It may be a good idea to check your household insurance policy incase you need to disclose that you have a fire pit as it could be one of their requirements.
It is important to check any codes and laws in your area as requirements regarding the use of fire pits can differ from place to place. Some communities do not permit to burn open fires so check prior to making plans of installing a fire pit.
Where to place your Fire Pit
Before you decide where you want to place your fire pit, you need to decide if you will be getting a permanent or a portable one. Consider also that permanent fire pits can require remodelling or renovation work prior to installing.
You will be spoilt for choice for both permanent and portable fire pits, and your budget and personal design preference may be a deciding factor. Once you have decided on a permanent or portable fire pit, you will need to decide where to place it.
The most important thing when deciding where to place your fire pit, is safety. You should place your fire pit at least ten feet away from your house and from surrounding neighbours’ yards. Your fire pit should also be positioned where there are no fire risks such as overhanging branches, fences, or other structures.
On top of deciding where to place your fire pit, you need to decide on the best surface to sit it on. The safest surfaces to sit your fire pit on are brick, stone, gravel, concrete, or other type of fire- resistant material.
You should never place your fire pit directly on any wooden decking as this is a serious fire hazard. If you want your fire pit on wooden decks you should place it on a heat-resistant tile and raise it on blocks between your decking and your fire pit.
Many of our fire pits come with their own base or stand to sit on, and you may think it is safe to place on wooden decking or non-heat resistant tiles. But you need to be aware that the bases and stands can give off enough residual heat to cause damage. Most fire pits are constructed on a gravel or stone base.
Types of Fuel
Gas and wood are the most common types of fuel for outdoor fire pits. If you are looking for a true-blue experience then wood would be your choice, however, requires supervision to keep the fire burning, as well as a good supply of firewood. You should never use flammable fluids such as gas or lighter fluid to light a wood fire.
Gas in another fuel option you could go for. Your fire will start instantly with a gas fire pit, but you don’t get the smoke and crackling sounds you get from a wood fire burning. You should only use gas in gas fire pits that have been built for it.
To give you the best of both worlds, there are even fire pits available that can be switched between wood and gas for burning a fire.
Then there's the environmentally friendly biofuel if you want to be mesmerized by the lively dancing flame that bio-ethanol produces. When you see the huge range of contemporary designs available to the Australian market, then you could be swayed toward an ethanol fire pit or burner.