With cooler weather slowly taking hold, many homeowners are looking forward to chilly evenings spent with family and friends around a cozy fire. Outdoor fire pits are especially popular this time of year, but before you build the first fire of the season, here are some fundamental fire pit safety tips to keep in mind.

Familiarize Yourself with the Fire Pit

Get to know your fire pit. There are several different types on the market – some fueled by propane or natural gas; others by wood, wood pellets, or fire logs. Depending on what type of fire pit you own, the instructions will differ on how to light and extinguish a fire.

Consult the owner’s manual for your fire pit and follow the instructions provided. Knowing how to properly operate the fire pit will reduce the risk of damage and helps to keep everyone safe.

Proper Placement is Necessary for Safety

When selecting the perfect spot to build your fire pit, choose an open area that isn’t inside an enclosed porch or patio or beneath an awning. Clear nearby brush, mow the surrounding grass if necessary, and prune any low branches hanging over your fire pit. Place the fire pit on a level area to reduce the risk of it being knocked over or fuel otherwise spilling out onto the ground.

Install non-combustible materials around and beneath your fire pit. Sand and rock are ideal options because they aren’t flammable. They will catch stray embers from the fire instead of them falling onto the grass. Aside from enhancing fire pit safety, patio pavers, stones, or sand will make the space look more finished and inviting.

Have an Emergency Plan in Place for Fire Pit Safety

If a fire gets out of control, it’s important to be prepared. Keep a fully charged fire extinguisher in an accessible area that is rated for the type of fuel you’re burning. Keep a fire blanket nearby to use in the event that anyone catches their clothing on fire. These blankets are made of fire-resistant materials that will smother flames in an emergency situation.

If your fire pit came with a screen, use it. The screen will contain the firewood and prevent burning logs from toppling onto the ground. It is especially important to use the screen anytime you’re enjoying a fire with children or pets present.

Fire pit safety basically comes down to being prepared, alert, and responsible. Before you build a fire this fall or winter, pay attention to these tips. Consult the manual for the fire pit if you’re uncertain about its placement or the procedure for igniting and extinguishing the fire. Never leave a fire pit unattended and be sure to completely put the fire out before going inside for the evening.

Alpharetta Property Inspections provides home inspection to customers in North Fulton, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Cobb, Dekalb, and Cherokee counties. Contact us to schedule an appointment.