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Fire Pit Safety: Don't Let Your Party Go South

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Jessica
07.10.14

We think summer is defined by how much time you spend outside sans electronics. So, when something like a fire pit persuades you to go into your backyard and have fun, we’re in!

If you have a fire pit in your backyard, you know how relaxing and entertaining it can be to sit back, relax and roast a marshmallow or two (not to mention that awesome crackle sound).

But, fire pits can have a dark side. If the fire gets out of control (especially if you live in a dry area) your party can go south pretty quickly. To avoid a call to your local fire department, follow these five safety tips:

1. Always Check Wind Direction Before You Light a Fire

Only light the fire if the wind is blowing away from your home. For a simple test to see which direction the wind is going, take a pinch of grass and drop it into the air. The direction that the grass falls is the direction the wind is blowing.

2. Keep a Sand Bucket Nearby

Keep a bucket full of sand in arm’s length of your fire pit. This is especially important if you don’t have a garden hose that can reach your fire pit.

Every time you extinguish a fire, pour a little bit of sand over the extinguished ashes. The sand will completely smother the fire, guaranteeing that embers won’t light back up and cause problems. Tip: You can find a 50 lb. bag of “play sand” for less than $5 at your local home improvement store.

3. Don’t use Flammable Fluids to Light Your Fire

Keep gasoline, alcohol, kerosene and charcoal lighter fluid far away from your fire pit. Stick with the classics when you light your fire: Matches and wood.

4. Choose Safe Clothing

Don’t wear flammable materials like nylon or any loose-fit clothing when you’re hanging out near a fire pit.

5. Use Seasoned, Hard Woods Like Hickory, Oak and Maple

Avoid using soft woods like pine or cedar, because they’re more apt to “pop” and throw sparks.

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