Many homeowners love the simplicity and effectiveness of using fire pits as a way to enhance the looks and the usefulness of their homes' outdoor space. Fire pits are great for entertaining during cooler spring and autumn days and nights and have grown increasingly popular. They may be portable units, simple dirt areas, encircled with rocks, or complex and expensive custom built structures.

Their usefulness and ability to enhance outside livability comes with a danger. Fires are lit in these portable or permanent areas. When fire loses containment, serious injuries and damage can result. So, considering the danger to persons and property, what measures can fire pit owners take to minimize losses?

• If you use a portable fire pit, it must be placed on a level, non-flammable (concrete, brick, gravel, etc.) surface

• If you install a permanent fire pit, its location must meet local ordinances regarding its placement, including the need of a site inspection

• Any fire pit should be at least ten feet aware from structures, flammable property and overhanging branches

• Take consideration of weather conditions such as drought and wind before lighting fires

• Do not use accelerants (gas, kerosene, lighter fluid) to start fires.

• Only seasoned hardwoods with the proper size (logs in proportion to pit size) should be used

• Never use fire pits to burn cardboard, paper, plywood or trash

• Fire extinguishing equipment or materials should be kept nearby

• Carefully supervise children when using a fire pit

Source - ©The Rough Notes Company, Inc.

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