If You're Considering A Backyard Fire Pit, Here Are A Few Things To Know
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What to Know When Considering a Backyard Fire Pit

For lighting up the nights and enjoying camaraderie while not in fireplace season, a backyard fire pit is worth considering. Outdoor living has finally caught on throughout the nation, and a simple fire pit may be all that is required to draw your family and friends to the great outdoors. The following are considerations for adding a backyard fire pit and spending more time under the stars.

backyard fire pit, arnold mdPrice is Not Likely an Obstacle

The amount you invest in a backyard fire pit ranges from highly affordable to elaborate and costly. It is all up to you and what you envision for gathering around a fire pit in your backyard. A simple fire pit with modest seating may create the desired ambiance. A pricier option is to build a luxuriously scenic setting where a rustic fire delivers the perfect finishing touch.

Safety Considerations for Fire Pit Placement

Local ordinances may provide specifics regarding safe fire pit placement. In general, a fire pit must be no closer than 10 feet away from your home, other combustible structures, and the neighbors’ properties. Details on the size of the fire pit may be among the guidelines for safety. It is also important that nothing is overhead. For instance, do not place a fire pit under a tree or the overhang of branches or a building.

General Fire Pit Safety Tips

The fire safety experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provide the following advice for practicing fire pit safety:

  • Before lighting a fire, check the wind direction and where others are seated.
  • Never use lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to light or re-ignite a fire.
  • Do not wear flammable or loose-fitting clothing.
  • Ensure that pets and children stay at least three feet away from the fire.
  • To prevent popping and sparks in the fire, avoid pine, cedar, and other softwoods.
  • Keep a garden hose, fire extinguisher, or bucket of water close by.
  • Never leave an outdoor fire unattended.
  • After the ashes of a fire have cooled, shovel them into a metal container and douse them with water.

Check on Local Restrictions and Ordinances

Fire pits may or may not be permitted in your backyard, depending on local laws, codes, and ordinances. To avoid wasting time and money as you consider investing in a fire pit, begin by contacting your local government. There is often an online city page indicating rules for outdoor recreational burning. It could be, however, that your homeowners’ association has set restrictions that are stricter than the city code. It may pay to check with your HOA, as well. You could find, for instance, that gas-fueled fire pits are approved but that wood-burning is not allowed.

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