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Fire pit safety

966 725 Nisha Muire

Fire pits have become a hot backyard item in Toronto. They are great for bringing family and friends together on chilly evenings to enjoy the outdoors. They extend the time you can use your backyard well past summer into late fall and they are also attractive features that add charm to a yard and they are quite easy to install. However, if you are thinking of including a firepit in your yard there are some very important things to keep in mind to make sure you and your home are safe.

Firstly, you have to position your fire pit properly. It has to be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structure or neighbouring structure and the further away the better. They should never be positioned under a covered porch or low hanging tree branches. And they should never be placed on a wood deck or directly on grass – always have it on a non-flammable surface such as patio blocks or concrete.

Once you have the perfect position for your firepit you need to prepare the area around it by getting rid of any flammable materials. There should be at least five feet between it and any vegetation. Making sure that there is dirt around your fire pit will also make it harder for any ground fires to escape and the pit should be deep enough to contain the fire easily. Lastly, don’t forget the drainage pit in the middle of your fire pit if you are building it from scratch.

When it comes to using your fire pit, make sure to only light it when there is little to no wind – if it is very windy using a fire pit is not a good idea. Make sure to remove any flammable items that might be downwind from you and never use flammable fluids to get it going, ie: lighter fluid, gasoline.

Once you’ve got your fire going, don’t ever leave it unattended – especially if there are little children around. Prevent sparks and embers by not using garbage or paper products to fuel the fire and also limit the amount of wood you use at a time to keep the fire contained. Make sure that you have water or sand nearby to quell any sparks that might happen.

Extinguishing your fire is very important. Ashes can remain hot for days after a fire is extinguished and can reignite materials that are flammable such as tinder, compost piles, dry leaves, etc… that is why it is recommended to down the fire with water and stir it with a shovel to make sure it is fully out. Put the ashes into a metal can used solely for this purpose.

As long as you follow these guidelines you should safely enjoy your fire pit.


Nisha Muire

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