Fire Pit Safety

Fall is a great time to sit outside with friends and family, light up the fire pit and roast s’mores. But what you don’t know could cause serious damage to your home or property. First, let’s talk about the different types of fire pits. 

A permanent fire pit is a structure that has been built by either yourself or a professional. Home improvement stores sell kits so you can do it yourself, or for a more custom look, a landscape professional or contractor can help. Portable fire pits can be wood or gas. 

Regardless of which style you decide to go with it’s important to always check with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or local ordinances on proper installation. For residents of the City of Fredericksburg, you go can here.

Now let’s talk about the differences between wood burning and gas fire pits. This inevitably will come down to preference and aesthetic. Do you love the smell and crackle of wood burning? Or would you prefer instant fire and the ambiance of a natural gas or propane fire? If you decide to go the gas fire pit route, they will either have a tank or require a hookup to your home’s gas line. It’s important to always consult a professional when installation of a gas line is required.

Depending on where you live, this will determine where in your yard you can install or set up a fire pit. Always double check with your town, county or state before installing anything permanent. Many communities have a minimum distance requirements from your home and any neighboring yards. 

A few fire pit safety tips to consider: 

  • Check the direction of the wind before lighting a fire. 
  • Never use flammable liquids to light or relight fires. 
  • Don’t wear baggy/loose-fitting clothing or flammable materials like nylon. 
  • Keep pets and children 3’ away from the fire. 
  • Softwoods like pine or cedar should be avoided because they can pop and throw sparks.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in the case of an emergency.

It’s always a good idea to also consult with your homeowners insurance on your coverage before installing or building a fire pit near your home.